FAQs

Got questions about the study? Check out the FAQ’s below. If you can’t find what you are looking for, contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Search FAQs

COVID-19 Survey

  • What is the COVID-19 Survey?
    • We are asking study members and parents to complete short online questionnaires about their experiences during the coronavirus outbreak.

      It provides study members and parents with an important opportunity to contribute to our national understanding of how the coronavirus is affecting the economy, society, and health.

  • What does it involve?
    • We will contact you by email to invite you to complete a short online questionnaire. It should only take around 20 to 30 minutes.

      The questionnaire covers the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on your work, your health, your family and your social life.

      We will ask you to do this at regular intervals throughout the outbreak to see how things change for you. The data will be more valuable the more often you take part.

      Answering these questionnaires is voluntary and you can skip over any questions that you cannot or would prefer not to answer.

  • Why it is important?
    • The coronavirus outbreak has led to big and sudden changes in how we live our day-to-day lives in the UK. It is a serious and unprecedented event. It will have a lasting impact on many people’s lives.

      The answers you give will help researchers understand the impact of the outbreak on people’s lives, and will provide vital evidence on how the lives of people affected can be improved.

      The information you have given in previous surveys will greatly improve our understanding of the impact of the outbreak. And as we will be following your lives into the future we can also look at longer-term consequences. For these reasons, your contribution is particularly valuable.

  • Do I have to take part?
    • Like all of our surveys, it is completely up to you whether or not you choose to take part in these coronavirus online surveys.

      We will be carrying out the survey at regular intervals during the outbreak. You can choose to take part in some, all or none of these surveys. Taking part in one survey doesn’t mean you have to take part in later ones.

      We understand that some people may not want to or be able to take part in surveys at this time.

      This does not affect your participation in the main surveys for the study.

  • How will I access the questionnaire online?
    • We will send you an email will contain a web link and a unique ID. You need to click on the link in your email and enter your unique ID (a 7 letter code) and your date of birth.  You will then be able to proceed.

      If you have any problems accessing the questions, you can call us for free on 0800 092 1250 or email us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk.

      Unfortunately, due a technical problem, some parents have been unable to log in to the online survey. The technical problem is due to dates of birth being incorrectly formatted. If you are unable to access the survey please try entering your date of birth in the following format: mm/dd/yyyy rather than dd/mm/yyyy. So for example 18th March 1970 would be 03/18/1970 rather than 18/03/1970.

  • How do I complete the questionnaire online?
    • You need to click on the link in your email and enter your unique ID (a 7 letter code from your email) and your date of birth.

      You can complete the question using a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can decide which one you would prefer to use.

      We recommend you complete it all in one go. It should take around 20 to 30 minutes to finish. However, if that’s not possible, you can leave it and come back, using the same login details.

      As always, answering these questions is voluntary and you can skip over any questions that you cannot or would prefer not to answer.

      Once you’ve come to the end of the questions, you can submit your answers, and you won’t be able to edit them again.

  • Can I still take part if I don’t receive an email?
    • Yes, of course. If you haven’t received an email inviting you to take part, this is most likely because we don’t have an email address for you. If you would like to take part, please use the contact form to provide us with your email address and we will include you in future coronavirus surveys.

  • How can I opt out of the coronavirus surveys?
    • If you want to opt out of receiving the coronavirus surveys, you can do this by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

      This won’t affect your participation in the main surveys.

  • What should I do if I am worried about coronavirus and its impact?
    • We hope that you and your loved ones are keeping well and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.

      Please follow the latest government advice: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

      If you think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, please follow the advice and guidance from the NHS: www.111.nhs.uk (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or www.nhs24.scot (Scotland). You can also call NHS by phoning 111 or phone your GP.

      Many people are experiencing difficulties or need some extra support due to the wider impact of the outbreak and restrictions imposed by the government, for example on finances, health and housing. Some of the organisations able to provide support and free confidential advice are listed below.

      Citizens Advice www.citizensadvice.org.uk – general issues including benefits, housing, debt and consumer issues.

      Family Lives www.familylives.org.uk – advice, information and support on a range of family issues including parenting, school and relationships. Call 0808 800 2222 or email askus@familylives.org.uk

      Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).

      Talk to FRANK www.talktofrank.com – advice on drugs and alcohol. You can text them on 82111, phone FRANK for free on 0300 123 6600 or get advice via webchat.

      Samaritans www.samaritans.org – if you have concerns, worries or are struggling to cope phone 116 123 at any time or email jo@samaritans.org

      Refuge www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk – national domestic abuse helpline. Call 0808 2000 247 at any time.   

  • Who should I contact if I have any problems, queries or concerns?
    • If you have any problems, queries or concerns, you can call us for free on 0800 092 1250 or email us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk.

  • What happens to the information I give?
    • The information you give us will be held securely and treated in strict confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation. Any information that may identify you, such as your name, your contact details and any other details that may identify you, will be kept separate from your answers to the questionnaire. We hold any information which could identify you securely and never make this available to researchers.

      The answers you give in the questionnaire will be made available securely to researchers, along with other information held by the study about you, to look at the impact of coronavirus on people’s lives.

      Our COVID-19 survey included the question: “Please use the space below to express in your own words the main ways the Coronavirus outbreak has affected your life and/or your loved ones so far, and what you think the effects might be in the future”. Responses to this question will also be made available to researchers and may also be used in communications about the survey and about research using the survey data. As with all the information you share with us, responses to this question will be de-identified before anyone can use them. You may be able to recognise your own response, but other people will not be able to identify you through your response.

      See the ‘Privacy and data protection’ FAQs for more details about how we use your personal information.

  • How do you keep my information safe?
    • All information collected by and added to Child of the New Century is treated with the strictest confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

      See the ‘Privacy and data protection’ FAQs for more details about how we keep your data secure.

COVID-19 Survey – COVID symptom tracker

Why am I so unique?

  • Why are the Children of the New Century so special?
    • Researchers predict that your generation is going to be much different from your parents and grandparents before you.

      The world is changing quickly. Your generation is growing up in a time of big challenges, like climate change and international security. There are also new opportunities like globalisation, increasing cultural diversity and new technology. You’ve never known a time without computers, the internet or smart phones, and you can access information on almost any topic at the touch of a button.  Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter mean that your experiences can be instantly shared and friends can be people you’ve never met. In 1999, the government decided it would be really important to understand as much as they could about this special generation. They asked a group of researchers to set up a new study that would follow the lives of the children of the 21st century. The very next year, Child of the New Century began.

      To learn more about why the study was started, visit the ‘History of the study’ page.

  • Why have I been specially chosen?
    • You are one of 19,000 young people selected from 400 different areas of the UK to represent your generation. Each one of you was chosen because you’re unique, and together you represent the diversity of the children of the new century.

      As you grow and change, so do the things that make you special. It may be where you live, how you’re doing at school, your family or your hobbies. We need to make sure that as many of you as possible keep taking part well into the future so that all the different types of voices of your generation can be heard.

  • Why should I take part?
    • By taking part in Child of the New Century, you’re helping to make life better for young people your age, as well as for future generations.

      Politicians, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and others use findings from the study to improve services and policies to help young people.

      It’s your story and only you can tell it. We’ve been following you since you were 9 months old and we really want to keep hearing from you as you grow up.

      You’re unique and the picture isn’t complete without you. If you choose not to take part, we can’t replace you with anyone else.

      It’s important that we understand what life is like for all different kinds of young people – from different parts of the country, different family backgrounds, different ethnicities, etc. That’s why we need as many of you as possible to keep taking part – each and every one of you brings something new to the story.

  • How was my family initially recruited?
    • Your family was recruited because of where you were living and when you were born. Nearly 400 areas were randomly selected for the study from across the whole of the UK. In those areas, we aimed to contact the families of all the babies born between 1st September 2000 and 31st August 2001 in England and Wales, and between 24th November 2000 and 11th January 2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      At that time, virtually all families in the UK received Child Benefit. The government department administering Child Benefit – called the Department for Work and Pensions – had the names and addresses of some 27,000 families with a baby born between those dates and living in those areas. The Department for Work and Pensions wrote to all of these families inviting them to take part and giving them a chance to opt out.

      Around 24,000 of these families were then approached by an interviewer when their baby was around 9 months old, and 18,552 families were successfully interviewed at the first survey.

      Another 692 families, who were missed initially, were added to the study at age 3. They were recruited in the same way and lived in the same areas.

  • Who else takes part?
    • 19,000 young people from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken part in the study.

      In many cases, parents, teachers and even brothers and sisters have also taken part.

      In the future, we may also want to talk to the people who may be important to you as an adult, such as your partner or children, if you have them.

  • Do my parents have to take part?
    • We know that parents are an important part of your life, so as you’re growing up, we ask your mum, dad or the person who takes care of you to take part as well. We are only able to interview parents who live with you. You can still take part, even if your parents don’t want to.

      When you’re an adult, we may ask other important people in your life to take part, such as your partner or children (if you have them). But it will be up to them whether or not they want to.

  • Why don’t you interview my parent who doesn’t live with me?
    • When we’ve visited you, we’ve interviewed your parents or guardians living with you. However, a number of study members don’t live with both their parents, for example where parents are divorced or separated. In the vast majority of these cases, study members are living with their mothers but not their fathers.

      Studies like ours have always struggled to keep fathers involved once they’ve left the family home. In the early days of CNC, we attempted to include those fathers who were not living with their children full-time. In advance of the Age 5 Survey, we carried out a pilot study with children who had fathers living elsewhere. We asked these fathers to complete a questionnaire, but unfortunately less than 14 per cent responded. The numbers were too low to be representative of the wider population of non-resident fathers, and would likely result in an unbalanced and even misleading picture of the involvement of these fathers in their children’s lives. For this reason, we decided we would not interview non-resident fathers as part of the study.

      However, we recognise that many non-resident fathers play an important role in their children’s lives. We have tried to gather information as best we can about all fathers not living in the home.  While you were growing up, we asked your mothers a range of questions about your father’s involvement in your upbringing, and we asked you about your relationships with both parents.

  • What has CNC found out?
    • You can read about findings from Child of the New Century in the what we’ve learned section. Here are a few highlights:

      Pregnancy

      Children whose mothers drank heavily while they were pregnant were more likely to have behaviour problems at age 3 than those whose mothers didn’t drink or drank lightly.

      Having only one or two alcoholic drinks a week during pregnancy is not related to children’s behaviour or abilities at later ages.

      Home and family

      • Children who have a regular bedtime tend to do better at school in areas such as reading and maths than those who don’t. The same researchers found that children who go to bed at the same time every night benefit from being in a better mood and generally get on better with others.
      • Watching TV for more than three hours a day could be linked to anti-social behaviour such as stealing or fighting, although the authors emphasise that lots of other factors influence children’s behaviour too.

       

      School

      • The month in which children were born could influence which classes or sets they are in. Children born in the summer months were more likely to be placed in lower sets because they were almost a year younger than their classmates born in September.

       

      Happiness and aspirations

      • In the Age 11 Survey more than half of young people said they were ‘completely happy’ at school, while nearly 3 in 4 were ‘completely happy’ at home.
      • Overall, the most popular jobs with children in the Age 7 Survey included teacher, scientist, hairdresser, sports player, firefighter, vet, doctor, artist and builder.

Taking part

  • What if I no longer want to take part?
    • Your unique contribution is incredibly valuable so we really hope that you will continue taking part. However, the study is voluntary so if you no longer wish to take part, either in the next survey or in any future surveys, please let us know.

      If you are unsure whether to continue to take part or not, please do not hesitate to contact us to talk about your concerns. We are always happy to talk to you – without you the study is not possible. If you choose not to take part, we can’t replace you with anyone else.

  • If I miss one of the surveys, can I re-join later?
    • Your unique contribution is incredibly valuable so we do hope that you will take part. We’d like everyone to take part each time we visit. This is because the information you give us at each survey is even more valuable when we are able to link up the surveys up over time.

      But it’s up to you to decide whether or not to take part each time. If you miss a survey, you can still do the next one. Even if you haven’t taken part for a while, you are welcome to re-join the study at any time.

      If you are unsure whether to continue to take part or not, please do not hesitate to contact us to talk about your concerns. We are always happy to talk to you – as you are a really valued participant. If you choose not to take part, we can’t replace you with anyone else.

       

  • How often will you come and see me?
    • We hope to visit you at key points in your life as you grow up. We choose to visit you at different ages, which are interesting and important for particular reasons. This means that the gap between surveys is not always the same. We visit you more often when you’re growing up because you change faster during these years.

      The most recent survey took place when you are age 14, in 2015. We will come back to visit you again when you are 17, in 2018. The study will continue throughout your adult life. It hasn’t been decided yet when all of the future surveys will be. But it is likely they will be every 3-5 years.

      It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part in each survey. We will send you information before each survey to let you know what it will involve. If you move between surveys, it would be very helpful if you could contact us with your new address.

  • Why do you come to see me at certain ages?
    • We’re interested in following your life story. We want to see how your life changes over time, and what your life is like at certain ages. We choose key points in your life to visit you, which are interesting and important for particular reasons.

      Child of the New Century is like a photo album not only of your life, but of all the other participants too. That’s what makes it so interesting, and this is why you are so important, as you cannot be replaced.

      The more information that the study gathers about your life over time, the more valuable it becomes. This is why we so value your unique and continued contribution.

  • What information do you need from me?
    • If you move or if your contact details change, please let us know as soon as you can. This means we can make sure you get information about the study and that we can contact you to invite you to take part in each survey.

      During each survey, we will ask you for information about lots of different aspects of your life. We may also want to talk to your parents, or other people in your life. We’ll write to you before each survey to tell you all about what is involved.

  • How long will the study continue?
    • We hope that the study will continue throughout your life. Other similar studies, which started in 1946, 1970 and 1958, are still going on today. The next survey will be at age 17 (in 2018). After that, they are likely to be every 3-5 years.

  • Should I tell other people I am in the study?
    • It’s fine to tell your family, friends and teachers that you are in the study. We advise study members not to make this public, for example on social media, as this could risk compromising your anonymity.

Keeping in touch

  • What sort of information will you send me?
    • We will write to you regularly with updates about the study, to make sure you know what is coming up, what we’ve learned and how the study has made a difference.

      Before each survey, we’ll write to you to tell you everything you need to know about what is involved. You might want to know when the survey is taking place, or how long it will take. We’ll always try to answer any questions you have. After each survey, we’ll write to thank you for taking part.

      Between surveys, we will send you results from the study telling you what we have found out. It can take a while to put together all of the information you give us, so it is usually a few years after each survey before we can send you the results.

      You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the study.

  • How do I find out the results from the study?
    • We will write to you regularly with results from the study, telling you what we’ve found out about your generation. It can take a while to put together all of the information you give us, so it is usually a few years after each survey before we can send you the results.

      To find out more about the results so far, visit the ‘What have we learned?’ page.

      The information from the study is being used all the time by researchers around the world, so new findings are always emerging. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the latest results.

  • Why do you ask me to update my contact details?
    • We want to make sure that we have the right contact details so that we can keep in touch with you. You’re such a valuable part of the study and we really value your input. We want to make sure we can keep you up to date with the study and contact you to invite you to take part in each survey.

      Updating your contact details is simple to do. All you have do is either call us via the Freephone telephone number (0800 092 1250), or email us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk. Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  • What do I do with the form you’ve sent me?
    • You simply fill out the form that we sent you with any new information such as address changes, new phone and email addresses, or changes to a contact person’s details, and return it to us in the prepaid envelope.  Where there are no changes to your details we would like you to send us back the form anyway to indicate that we have the correct information on your record. If you prefer you can update us with your new details by Freephone (0800 092 1250), or by email (childnc@ucl.ac.uk) and dispose of the form.

      If you cannot find your form, please confirm your contact details by Freephone (0800 092 1250) or by email (childnc@ucl.ac.uk). Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  • Can I keep in touch with CNC on social media?
    • Child of the New Century is on Facebook and Twitter so it’s easy for you and your parents to stay up to date with the study.

      Facebook

      You can keep up to date with Child of the New Century by liking our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/childofthenewcentury.

      Only your Facebook friends will be able to see that you’ve liked our page, and we’ve disabled the comment function to protect your identity from others.

      Twitter

      Child of the New Century is also on Twitter. You can follow us at @childnewcentury.

      Other people will be able to see your Twitter name listed under our followers. If you reply to one of our tweets, only the people who follow you will be able to see it.

      Contact us by email, phone or post

      If you have a question or comment about the study, we recommend you contact us by email, phone or post and not through Facebook or Twitter. Find out how to reach us on the contact us page.

      Find out about keeping safe online

  • Why do you want my mobile phone number and email address?
    • We are asking you to give us your mobile phone number and email address so we can keep in contact with you about the study. We will not give your contact details to anybody else, and we will not contact you about anything other than Child of the New Century. You can let us know what your contact details are by using the online form. Please discuss this with your parents before filling in the form yourself.

How we find you

  • How do you find us if we move?
    • We need to keep in touch with as many of you as possible to make sure Child of the New Century continues to represent the diversity of your generation. So, if we find out that you’ve moved, we will try to find out your new address.

      We first try to contact families through the direct links you and your parents have given us, such as phone numbers, email addresses and your postal address.

      If that doesn’t work, then we will try to contact any family members or friends whose details you have given us. If we still haven’t found you, we will check the electoral register and the telephone book, both of which are public records and available electronically. We may also try to find you using internet searches, by looking on social media sites and by using information held by government department and agencies.

      All of this tracing is usually done before the interviewers have gone out to interview families so that we can provide them with your current address. However, if we have not been able to locate you, or if the interviewer finds out your family has moved, then they will also try to find out where you’ve moved to. As well as trying to make contact by phone and in person, the interviewer may also call at your old address to speak to the new residents and call on neighbours. When we are looking for you, we won’t reveal to other people, apart from your family and friends, that you are part of Child of the New Century.

  • Do you use information held by government to find us?
    • From time to time we try to trace study members using information held by government departments and agencies. So far, we have tried to trace study members using Child Benefit records held by the Department for Work and Pensions, the National Pupil Database held by the Department for Education (England only), and the NHS (via the NHS Central Register for England and Wales and via Health Authorities and GPs in Scotland and Northern Ireland). We may use other government databases in the future.

      The National Pupil Database contains the addresses of all state school pupils in England, which are collected through schools. The NHS Central Register is a database of GP registrations and is held by NHS Digital. We would also find out if you died or moved out of the country from this register.

      Whenever we do this, we securely transfer the personal details (name, sex, date of birth and last known address) of study members to the government department or agency. They use these details to identify our study members and then send us their up-to-date addresses. They do not retain the personal details sent to them.

      This kind of personal information is not given out routinely by government departments and agencies. Special permissions are needed, and this is only done after a careful review of why this information is needed, ethical issues and data security procedures. For the information coming from the NHS, special approval under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 from the NHS Confidentiality Advisory Group and NHS Digital Data Access Advisory Group is needed.

  • Do you use the internet and social media to find us?
    • Sometimes we try to find study members using the internet and social media. This may involve carrying out internet searches, for example using Google, and searching on Facebook and other social media sites. While you are under 16, we will only look for your parents in this way. We also know that it can be difficult to identify people accurately on the internet and social media. So, whenever we are searching in this way, we will not reveal the name of the study in case the person we contact isn’t one of our study members.

  • What do I do if I move?
    • It would be very helpful (as well as saving us time!) if you could contact us to let us know where you have moved to. This is simple to do. All you have do is either call us via the Freephone telephone number (0800 092 1250), or email us at childnc@ucl.ac.uk. Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  • What if I leave the country?
    • If you are living outside the UK during our interview period then sadly we will have to leave you out of that particular survey. However, please still let us know your address so that we can keep in touch and send you letters and updates.

      Please let us know by Freephone (0800 092 1250), or by email (childnc@ucl.ac.uk), if you are moving out of the country. Your call and/or email will be treated in the strictest confidence.

      You can however re-join the study and be included in the next round of interviews if and when you return to the UK.

      Very occasionally we attempt to contact Child of the New Century participants who are living abroad to request that they fill out a paper questionnaire instead of a face-to-face interview.

      In the future it is possible that we may be able to include study members living abroad using the web or telephone interviews.

Privacy and data protection

  • How will my information be used?
    • We hold your personal details (your name, full address, telephone numbers, email addresses, etc.) in a secure and restricted administrative database, to which only a small number of authorised staff have access. We use your personal details so that we can keep in touch with you, for instance to send you information on how the data you provide to us in the survey is being used by researchers, and so that we can contact you during each survey. We never make these personal details available to researchers or to any third parties who might use them for marketing purposes.

      ·       The mailings that you receive from us for keeping in touch are printed and sent to you by an external mailing company, Copyprint UK. We send them your contact details securely, using an encrypted online portal, to enable them to send out mailings to you.

      ·       The surveys that you take part in every few years are collected by external organisations contracted by us.  Ipsos MORI and NatCen Social Research are the independent research organisations that have been contracted to carry out the Age 17 Survey, on behalf of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at University College London. We send them your contact details securely, using an encrypted online portal, to enable them to approach you to take part. Once the survey has been completed, they return us your responses securely, also using an encrypted online portal.

      ·       When we receive your survey responses, your information is split into two parts for storage at CLS. Your personal details are removed from the survey responses that you provide. Your survey responses are held on a separate secure research database, which do not contain any personal details, and are held together with the survey responses from thousands of other participants. This research data is then deposited with the UK Data Service, which is located in the University of Essex.  The data made available at the UK Data Service do not contain any personal details that would enable you to be identified at individual level. They are made available to academic researchers who must register with the Data Service and must work under a strict licence agreement.

      In our surveys we sometimes ask you to describe your experiences in your own words. Your responses are included in the survey data we make available through the UK Data Service, so they can be used in research. They may also be used in communications about the research and study data. As with all the information you share with us, your responses to questions like these are de-identified before anyone can use them. You may be able to recognise your own responses, but other people will not be able to identify you through your responses.

      The personal information you provide us will not be used to make any decisions (automated or otherwise) which could affect you in any way – it will only be used for research purposes.

  • Who receives my personal data?
    • We share your personal data with those external organisations we have contracted to either carry out our surveys, or send you mailings between each survey. Ipsos MORI and NatCen Social Research are the independent research organisations that has been contracted to carry out the Age 17 Survey, on behalf of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at University College London. Copyprint UK carry out the mailings between each survey. These external organisations are contractually bound to UCL to keep your data safe and secure, and are accredited to data security standards.

      Between major surveys, we may carry out short online surveys using Qualtrics, an online survey platform. Qualtrics is accredited to data security standards and is compliant with data protection legislation.

  • How do you keep my data secure?
    • We go to great lengths to maintain your privacy. We respect that you have voluntarily given information to us on the basis that we protect your rights. We keep any information which could identify you in a secure location.

      At the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, the study data is managed by two different teams, all of whom have signed strict confidentiality contracts and can only access this information for limited purposes. One team deals with your personal contact information to make sure we are able to stay in touch with you. The other manages all the other information you provide in the survey. Neither team has access to both.

      The organisations which carry out the surveys are also contractually bound by very strict confidentiality and data security agreements.

      Between major surveys, we may carry out short online surveys using Qualtrics, an online survey platform. Qualtrics is accredited to data security standards and is compliant with data protection legislation.

      The collected survey responses are made available to the research community at the UK Data Service. These research data do not contain any personal details that are identifiable at individual level and are only made available to researchers who register with the Data Service, who must work under a strict licence agreement. No-one using the data will know who the information has come from, or who is in the study.

  • How long do you hold my data for?
    • The purpose of the Child of the New Century study is to understand the whole picture – of your lives individually, and of your generation as a whole. The aim is to follow your whole life’s journey. For this reason, we have not set a time limit for how long we will keep your data. This applies to both data collected in the surveys and any data linked in to your survey data. It is very important for us to keep your data safe.

  • Can I access the data I have provided to the study?
    • Yes. Under data protection legislation you can get a copy of the information you gave to the surveys. Everyone has the right to access any personal data that is being kept about them. You can do this by making what is known as a subject access request. You should send your request to childnc@ucl.ac.uk

      Additionally, you can download the study data from UK Data Service by registering and signing the special confidentiality contract. However, unless you are a professional researcher the data may be difficult to understand as they are in a complex format. And you won’t be able to identify yourself as the data are de-identified.

  • Are my contact details transferred to other countries?
    • Your contact details are not transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), to ensure that they are protected by the strong EEA data protection laws.

  • How do I withdraw from the study?
    • You have the right at any time to withdraw from the study.  Information which the study has already collected about you in the past will be retained.  You will not be invited to part in any future surveys and we will not contact you for any other reason. We will keep your contact details as a historic record that you were once a member of the study.

      If you wish to withdraw from the study you can let us know in various ways:

      Call:  0800 092 1250
      Email: childnc@ucl.ac.uk
      Post: Freepost RTKC-KLUU-RSBH, Child of the New Century, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

  • What is GDPR?
    • The General Data Protection Regulation – https://www.eugdpr.org/, sets out our duties and responsibilities when we process and use your personal data. GDPR was approved by the European Parliament on 14th April 2016 and came into force on 25th May 2018. Because the GDPR is a regulation, it is directly binding and applicable. The new Data Protection Bill (2018) brings the GDPR into British law, and is part of the Data Protection Act 2018.

  • How does GDPR affect the Child of the New Century study?
    • The Child of the Century collects personal data from you, so it needs to be compliant with GDPR, which sets out the duties and responsibilities we have to you, and your rights regarding the personal data that we hold and process.

      The study is managed by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), which resides at University College London (UCL). UCL is the ‘Data Controller’ for this study. We contract with different external organisations who carry out our surveys on our behalf.  These organisations act as ‘Data Processors’. For the current Age 17 Survey, the fieldwork is contracted to Ipsos MORI and NatCen Social Research. The postal mailings we send to you between each survey are contracted to Copyprint UK, who also act as a data processor.

      The study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and government departments. The aim of the study is to generate data for research purposes and its funders and UCL are Public Authorities/ Bodies – this is regarded as a ‘Task in the Public Interest’ under GDPR – and is the lawful basis on which we are permitted to process your personal data.

      In addition, we comply with all the relevant legislation on protection of confidentiality. We have received externally certified accreditation to the NHS Digital Information Governance Toolkit standard, which allows us to hold data from the NHS, and which also provides you with assurance that your data is secured and protected in the strongest possible manner.

  • What is the legal basis on which you can process my personal data?
    • The Child of the New Century is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and government departments. The aim of the study is to generate data for research purposes and its funders and UCL are Public Authorities/ Bodies – this is regarded as a ‘Task in the Public Interest’ under GDPR – and is the lawful basis on which we are permitted to process your personal data.

  • Who is the data controller?
    • University College London is the Data Controller and is committed to protecting the rights of individuals in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • Who is the data protection officer?
    • If you want to request further information about our privacy notice you nay contact the University College London Data Protection Officer through data-protection@ucl.ac.uk

  • Is this privacy notice likely to change?
    • At CLS we will keep our privacy notice under regular review and it will be updated at least annually.

      If you want to request information about our privacy notice you can contact us via the details on our website https://childnc.net/ or via our Data Protection Office at data-protection@ucl.ac.uk

  • How many people have used the data?
    • There are about 400 researchers a year who analyse the data from Child of the New Century. Anyone using the data needs to sign a special confidentiality contract which states that they will only use it for research.

  • How do I make a complaint?
    • If you wish to raise a complaint or a cause for concern in relation to the study you can get in contact with us in a range of ways:

      Call:  0800 092 1250
      Email: childnc@ucl.ac.uk
      Post: Freepost RTKC-KLUU-RSBH, Child of the New Century, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

      If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, you can contact the UCL Data Protection Office at: data-protection@ucl.ac.uk. If you remain unsatisfied, you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Contact details, and details of data subject rights, are available on the ICO website: https://ico.org.uk/

  • Why do you need to know about “Stable contacts”?
    • We ask you to give us contact details for someone who you don’t live with (e.g. a relative, a neighbour, a friend) so that we can get in touch with them if we are unable to contact you directly e.g. if you’ve moved house. We refer to these people as ‘Stable Contacts’ and we only hold the contact details of these other people for that purpose – and this is the only reason we would contact them. You should let them know that you have given their details to us.

  • Why do you ask questions about other members of my family?
    • Our surveys often include questions about your parents, and other people who you may live with.  This is important because family circumstances have a huge impact on people’s lives.  We ask for some personal information relating to family members including names.  This is so that in later surveys we can refer back to them and ask if their circumstances have changed.  However, whilst no personal information relating to your family members is included in the data made available to researchers, you should let these family members know that you have given their details to us.

About adding other information

  • Do you add any other information to my data?
    • Government departments and agencies hold information about people which they use for routine administrative purposes. From time to time, we add information from these routine administrative records to the study data. We only do this if we have permission from the people whose data are being linked.

      At previous surveys, your parents may have given permission to add your school and/or health records, and those of your brothers and sisters, to the survey data. For people under 16, parental permission is needed. They may have also given permission for their own health and/or economic records to be added. At the Age 17 survey, we are asking you for the first time, to give your own permission to add other information about you. Find out more about this in the “Age 17 Survey: Questions about adding other information” above.

      Whenever we add information from administrative records, we securely transfer personal details (such as the person’s name, sex, date of birth, address, NHS and National Insurance number – if held) to the government department or agency. No other information about the person, or any of their answers to the surveys, is sent. The government bodies or agencies only use these details to identify the person in their systems and then send us the information from their records. Once the records are identified, these personal details are destroyed. When the information from the records is sent to us, we add it to the information collected in the study, and make it available to researchers under restricted access arrangements. Names, addresses, National Insurance and/or NHS numbers, are never disclosed to researchers.

      The permissions for adding information from administrative records can be withdrawn at any time, without giving us any reason. Permissions can be changed by writing free of charge to: Freepost RTKC-KLUU-RSBH, Child of the New Century, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, or by emailing the CNC team at childnc@ucl.ac.uk.

      We also add information which is not about you individually, but is about, for example, the school you go to or the area you live in. Any information like this provided to researchers is de-identified and cannot be used to find out who is in the study.

  • What other information have you added to my data?
    • At previous surveys, your parents may have given permission to add your school and/or health records to the information we have collected about you as part of the survey. We also collected their consent to add information about some of your siblings, where relevant, and they may have also previously given permission for their own health and/or economic records to be added to the survey data.

      If your parents agreed to this, we have already added some of this information to your survey data. Find out more about the information that we have added below:

      –              Information added from routine education records

      At the age 5 survey we asked permission from the parents of those of you in England to add information from your school records called the Foundation Stage Profile. When you were 7, we asked for their permission to collect information about your performance at school up to age 16. This includes Key Stages assessments and GCSEs in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, and 5-14 levels and Standard Grades in Scotland. Your parents’ permission may have also been sought at the age 3 survey and/or the age 7 survey for accessing information from education records for your siblings (if relevant).

      We have already added some information from these records. For those of you in England, Wales and Scotland, we have added some information from your primary school records. For those of you in England we have also added information from your secondary school records, including your GCSE results. We have not yet collected this information for your brothers or sisters (if relevant).

      These records, combined with the information you’ve given us during the surveys, will allow researchers to better understand your experiences at school and help provide better education and training for your generation and future ones too.

      –             Information added from routine health records

      At the 9-months Survey, we asked your mother for her permission to add information about you from her pregnancy and birth hospital records and your birth registration records. If permission was obtained, these records have been accessed and made available to researchers. This information is of great benefit to the study as it gives researchers a more complete picture of your very early life conditions, which we know can have important long-term effects on development.

      At the Age 3 Survey, we asked for your parent or guardian’s permission to add information about hospital admissions and treatments you might have received from birth to age 7 years. This information is held in routine records kept by the National Health Service. This permission was again sought at the Age 5 Survey, to ensure everyone had the opportunity to consent.

      Then at the Age 7 Survey, your parents were asked for their permission to access information about you, and about your brothers and sisters (if relevant), held in routine health records from birth to age 14. These records relate to admissions or attendances at hospital, visits to a family doctor or other health professional, records of specific conditions, and prescriptions given. We also sought their consent for their own health records to be added.

      We are now starting to get some information from your health records. For example, for those of you in Scotland and Wales, some information from your hospital records has been added. We have not yet collected this information for your siblings (if relevant) or parents.

      These records, combined with information you’ve given us during the surveys, will allow researchers to look in greater detail at what affects the health of children of the new century, and how policy makers might improve things for you and younger generations.

      For those of you in England, NHS Digital hold all hospital admissions and outcomes data from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) dataset, and we will link this information to the information collected about you as part of the study after the Age 17 Survey. The information provided by NHS Digital may also include civil registration data from the Office for National Statistics. For those of you in Scotland and Wales your medical records are held by the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland and NHS Wales Informatics Service’s Information Services Division (ISD), which have already sent us your records. We are aiming to make them available to researchers soon.  For those of you in Northern Ireland, it is the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care (HSC) that maintains this information. We have not yet applied to them for your records.

      –              Information added from economic records

      At the Age 7 Survey, your parents were asked for permission for their economic records to be added. This includes information about benefits, employment, earnings, tax credits and occupational pensions, and national insurance contributions.  The consent for the linkage of information on benefits and employment was updated at the Age 11 Survey.

      We are now in the process of adding this information from your parents’ economic records, kept by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (and the Northern Ireland Department for Communities, Social Security Agency) and by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This information will give us a better picture of your family economic circumstances without asking additional questions in the interview. It will allow us, for example, to examine in better detail the impact of family economic circumstances on your educational progress.

  • What if I don’t want you to add other information about me anymore?
    • You can change your mind about adding other information about you or withdraw any of your permissions at any time, without giving us any reason. This applies for any permissions that your parents might have given on your behalf in the past. We will then stop adding information from these records in the future. To change your permissions, please email the CNC team at childnc@ucl.ac.uk or write free of charge to: FREEPOST RTKC-KLUU-RSBH, Child of the New Century, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL.

About social research

  • What is social research?
    • Social research is research conducted by social scientists, such as anthropologists, economists, psychologists and sociologists. It aims to understand human behaviour, mental processes, and how people interact in society. Researchers apply different statistical methods to data in order to do this. The objective of their research is to understand how and why people fare differently in life, and therefore how policies can be designed to help improve the lives of some.

  • What is a birth cohort study?
    • A birth cohort study is one that follows a group of people that were  born at a similar date or period of time – be it a day, month, year or decade, for instance. It follows these people throughout their lives, and collects data from them at particular ages. By following the same people over time, these studies are able to show how and why people change as they get older. Child of the New Century is a birth cohort study following people born at the turn of the new millennium.

  • What is survey research?
    • Survey research involves collecting information from a sample of individuals through their answers to questions. Surveys are used in lots of parts of our society, for example by retail companies to understand shoppers’ preferences, in polls to reveal people’s voting intentions, and in studies such as CNC! They are carried out in different ways – including face-to-face, over the telephone, or on the internet.

About the saliva sample in the age 14 survey

  • Why did you ask for a saliva sample?
    • We asked you to give a saliva sample to extract a sample of DNA for genetic research.

  • How are saliva samples useful to the study, and to society as a whole?
    • Researchers can use DNA samples to look at whether parents and their children have certain types of genes. Studying the relative importance of genes and other factors helps researchers to understand differences in young people’s development, health, behaviour, growth and learning. For instance, recent research has identified genes associated with common allergies including pollen, dust-mite and cat allergies. It is believed that allergies are very often passed from one generation to the next. Understanding the genetic factors underlying allergies may be key to understanding who might be most likely to suffer from allergies and how this very common condition might best be treated.

  • What is a gene/DNA?
    • DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material in every cell of the body including blood, saliva, skin and hair. Everyone has DNA. We inherit our DNA from our parents. A gene is a section of DNA that contains the information our bodies need to make chemicals called proteins. In this way, they tell your cells how to function and what characteristics to express, and thus influence what we look like on the outside and how we work on the inside. For example, one gene contains the code to make a protein called insulin, which plays an important role in helping your body control the amount of sugar in your blood.

  • Why are you studying DNA?
    • We are studying DNA in order to look at the way genes (nature) and lifestyle (nurture) are related to feelings, behaviour, health, and development. It will help us to understand how nature and nurture work together. Although we all have very similar genes, there are many small variations. These different versions of our genes can make us more or less likely to develop many common diseases, such as allergies (asthma, for example), diabetes or heart disease. These differences can also affect our personality and behaviour.

  • Where and how are the DNA samples kept?
    • Samples will be stored in a laboratory at the University of Bristol which is licensed by the Human Tissue Authority. Access to laboratory and sample areas is restricted to authorised personnel. Samples are stored in freezers covered by a 24 hour alarm system in case of freezer breakdown. Names and addresses are not attached to samples.

  • Why did you collect DNA from both biological parents?
    • We want to learn more about the influence of parents’ DNA on their children. An important aim of Child of the New Century is to look at children’s genes and their environment to see how they interact to affect health and development. Each child’s genes come from both their mother and father, so the value of the genetic information is increased greatly if we are able to look at both parents (if both are living in the household). Genes can have different effects depending on whether they come from the mother or father. DNA from parents will let us explore these differences. This is why – when looking at complex conditions such as asthma, obesity or diabetes – we need to look at DNA from parents as well as children.

  • How is a biological/natural parent defined?
    • Biological parents are those who have conceived with their own egg (mother) or sperm (father), and therefore whose genes have been transmitted to the child.

  • Will we get any results from the DNA samples?
    • No, we will not provide you with routine feedback of the results of genetic testing. Tests done on your DNA are not the same as clinical genetic tests and cannot be used for diagnosis. If, however, throughout the course of the research we find something that we think could indicate a preventable medical issue, we would contact you and advise you to consult with a medical professional.

  • How will my DNA be used?
    • Your DNA will be used for research purposes only. It could be used by researchers who work in the commercial sector (e.g. a private company). Organisations which want to use the DNA samples to look at particular genes will have to apply for permission to an independent committee which oversees access to the samples. Researchers only get permission to use the samples if they put forward a strong scientific case and explain the potential impact of the research and its wider value to society.

  • Can my DNA be used by lawyers or insurance companies?
    • No. Your DNA will be used for research purposes only.

  • Can you share the DNA with someone like my doctor?
    • No, that is not possible. We use a research laboratory and not a clinical or medical laboratory. Your DNA will only be used for research relating to Child of the New Century.

  • Will this DNA be used for paternity testing?
    • Child of the New Century will not use your DNA for paternity testing. Whilst it would be possible during quality checking to compare genes within a family and in this way confirm paternity, this comparison will not be carried out by laboratory researchers.

  • Could this DNA be used for cloning humans?
    • Child of the New Century will not use your DNA for cloning humans. The use of human tissue, DNA and cell lines is strictly controlled. The charities and government organisations which fund this research, the Institute of Education, and the Child of the New Century Ethics Committee, do not allow human cloning.

  • Will the information be kept confidentially?
    • All of the information in the Child of the New Century study is kept separate from participant names so no one can link it back to individuals. This personal information is completely confidential.

  • What if I change my mind?
    • When you turn 16 (or earlier if you can demonstrate that you are old enough to understand), you can withdraw permission for storage and use of your DNA. Upon withdrawal of consent, CLS will instruct the laboratory to destroy all stocks of the samples.

      Parents have the right to withdraw consent for the storage and use of their own DNA, without giving any reason. Parents can also withdraw consent on behalf of their child until they are aged 16.

      You can withdraw your permission by writing to us at Freepost RTKC-KLUU-RSBH, Child of the New Century, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL.

About the 'Every Tooth Tells a Story' Project

  • What is the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ project?
    • Around the age 7 sweep (2008), you were asked to participate in an ‘Every tooth tells a story’ project to look at levels of lead in the environment. The study was being carried out by the Institute of Child Health, part of University College London.

  • How many teeth did you receive as part of the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ study, and where are they now?
    • Over 3,000 of you sent your teeth for the study. Many of you sent more than one tooth and the study has now received over 4,000 teeth from you. This makes it an exceptionally successful collection of shed milk teeth in the UK and provides an amazing resource for research.

      The teeth are being stored at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. They are stored securely and in serial number order in plastic zip wallets. They have been removed of any personal information so they cannot be linked to you.

  • Why did you want to collect my milk teeth at age 7?
    • Lead is a hazardous chemical in the environment which can affect children’s learning, development and behaviour. The government reduced the amount of lead in the environment by removing lead from petrol in the 1980s and taking steps to reduce lead in water in the 1990s. This means that environmental lead levels have fallen.

      However, little remains known about lead exposure in young children. Lead is incorporated and stored in calcifying tissues such as bone and teeth. Recent scientific advances make it possible to assess lead levels from milk teeth.

      By testing the teeth of children living in different parts of the country, we will find out if there are differences in the amount of tooth lead across the country, and also whether children are exposed to lead before and after birth. This information will tell us how well children are being protected through different government measures to control lead. It will also allow us to look at whether tooth lead levels affect children’s later development.

      To find out more about lead and its health effects, visit the Health Protection website.

  • At what stage is the research on ‘Every tooth tells a story?’
    • Researchers at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, have recently arranged for the first tests on a small number of your milk teeth to take place in a specialist laboratory in Australia. This will give us some important information about the amount of lead that today’s children are exposed to before and after birth. As these tests are relatively new, only a small number of teeth are being tested at first but more testing is planned if this is successful.

      We will tell you more about what the study finds as the research develops.

  • When will we know the findings from the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ research?
    • Findings from the ‘Every tooth tells a story’ project should be out soon.