How was I initially recruited?

Next Steps follows the lives of around 16,000 people born between 1st September 1989 and 31st August 1990.

You were originally recruited to the study in 2004 when you were in year 9 at school. Your school was selected at random from all independent and maintained secondary schools and pupil referral units in England and your name was then randomly selected from all the pupils in Year 9 attending your school in February 2004.

Over 21,000 pupils from 647 participating schools and referral units across England were originally approached to take part in Next Steps.

At that time, the Department for Education and Skills (later known as the Department of Education) wrote to you and your parents/guardians to tell you about the study and to invite you to take part in the first survey. 15,770 families were interviewed in the first survey in 2004.

A further 352 pupils were added to the study in 2008 to ensure that the study included enough young people of different ethnicities.

In total, 16,122 young people were recruited to the study.