Previous surveys

Next Steps started following the story of your lives when you were in Year 9 in 2004. At the first survey at age 14, 15,770 people from more than 600 schools took part. At age 17, an additional 352 people from minority ethnic groups joined the study – meaning a total of 16,122 people have taken part in the study over the years.

We visited you seven times while you were teenagers – from the time you turned 14 to when you reached age 20.

Most young people’s lives change rapidly through their teenage years, so it was important to visit you every year during this time.

Now you are adults, we catch up with you less often. The last survey took place in 2022-23, when you were 32.

Early teenage years

Between ages 14 to 17, both you and your parents were invited to take part at each survey. Your parents or guardians told us about your family background and home life, and how involved they were in your education. The interviewer came to visit you and your family at home to carry out the survey.

One of the really important aspects of Next Steps is that it represents all the different types of people that make up your generation. In 2007, some new members of Next Steps joined the study so that the study included enough people of different ethnicities.

Later teenage years

From the age of 18, only you (and not your parents) took part in the surveys. You were also able to complete the survey online, by phone or face-to-face with an interviewer from this age. You had this choice again at age 25.

Throughout all the surveys, we asked you about your education and your experiences at school, but also your views about your local area, your social lives, whether you drank or used drugs, your health and your hopes for the future. Read more about the findings on the What have we learned? pages.