Go to Department for Education home page


What is the LSYPE?

The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), also known as Next Steps, is a major innovative panel study of young people which brings together data from several sources, including annual interviews with young people and their parents, and administrative sources.

LSYPE respondents were first interviewed in the spring of 2004 (at age 13) and were interviewed annually until 2010, resulting in a total of seven ‘waves’. For the first four waves of LSYPE, the parents or guardians of the respondents were also interviewed.

What is LSYPE used for?

The main role of the study is to provide evidence on the key factors affecting educational progress and attainment and the transition following the end of compulsory education. Data from the study has been used to monitor the progress of the cohort group, evaluate the success (or otherwise) of policies aimed at this group and provide an evidence base for future policy development.

Both internal analysts and external academics have made extensive use of the LSYPE to support their work in informing and evaluating policies.

Who runs the LSYPE?

From 2014 the LSYPE is being managed by the Institute of Education (IoE).  Prior to 2014 the Department for Education (DfE) were responsible for the survey. However, due to the wide ranging issues raised in the survey, other Government Departments (including BIS and DWP) were also involved in the project and participated in the Steering Group.

Wave 7 of LSYPE will be the final wave managed by the Department for Education. The Economic and Social Research Council are currently assessing whether they are able to take on some onward responsibility for the study.

What are the benefits/limitations of LSYPE?

Who is interviewed in LSYPE?

In the first wave, around 15,500 young people were interviewed as part of the survey and we returned to the existing survey respondents every year for interviews .

For further information on the sampling and weighting please see the LSYPE User Guide at UK Data Archive.

Respondents were selected to be representative of young people in England. They were selected from a target population of those in Year 9 (or equivalent) in February 2004 who were born between 01/09/89 and 31/8/90. In addition, at Wave 4 sample boosts have taken place for some sub-groups (i.e. some ethnic minority groups) to ensure large enough numbers for analysis in key groups.

The study has achieved impressive response rates of 74%, 86%, 92%, 92%, 89%, 87% and 90% through Waves 1 to 7 respectively. This reinforces the positive feedback we have had from sample members through the study website. The final sample size at Wave 7 was around 8,700.

In addition to the young person themselves, in the first four waves of the survey parents or guardians were also interviewed to ensure we could get as full a picture as possible as to the household the young person was growing up in. From Wave 5, when the young person was aged 17/18, we interviewed the young person only.

Information about respondents

What questions are asked in the survey?

A wide range of questions have been asked over the past seven waves. Unsurprisingly, they have been focused on the educational experiences of young people (as it is primarily funded by DfE and these will be the experiences most prominent to young people of their age) but other issues have also been covered including their views on local areas, community cohesion, participation in social activities, risky-behaviours, crime/anti-social behaviours, health and their aspirations for the future.

By including the parents/guardians in the survey we have ensured that there is data relating to the parents’ involvement in the young person’s education, as well as the socio-economic and demographic details of their household.

Main topics covered include :

  • the young person's family background
  • the school(s) the young person attends/has attended
  • parental socio-economic status
  • parental employment
  • income and family environment as well as local deprivation
  • personal characteristics
  • attitudes, experiences and behaviours
  • attainment in education
  • outcomes


In order to make data from the LSYPE surveys available to all, datasets are routinely deposited with the UK Data Archive operated by the University of Essex. LSYPE Waves 1 to 7 are currently available http://discover.ukdataservice.ac.uk/series/?sn=2000030. The data from Waves 1 to 7 is also available here (iLSYPE).

How has the data been used?

LSYPE data has been, and remains to be, well used by academics who have accessed and analysed the data to support their work. We are currently contacting all users of the data to find out how it has been used and to see if we can access copies of papers and published articles using LSYPE. We are aiming to ensure that this sort of information is widely accessible so that researchers will be aware of what others have done.

Perhaps more importantly however, the LSYPE is an important study for government and can be used to effectively contribute to analysis of policies.

The Department first published a major National Statistics Bulletin in June 2008 reporting on results so far and covering many key policy areas such as NEETs, positive activities, aspirations and attitudes and their effect on attainment and many more. This has been updated in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and links to the Bulletins can be found on the Publications page. There are also numerous research projects either finished, underway or planned that use the data coming out of the studies - again see the Publications page for information.

Useful links

Still want to know more…?

If you have a query which hasn’t been answered by any of the above, please contact: