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

Age 17 Survey: General questions

  • What’s so special about age 17? 
    • Seventeen is a really important age. At this point you may be thinking about going on to university or what jobs you’d like in the future, and some of you will already be working or doing apprenticeships. You’re making decisions now that could shape the rest of your life, and we’d like to get an insight into who you are now.

  • Who is carrying out the interviews for the Age 17 Survey? 
    • Ipsos MORI and NatCen Social Research (independent research organisations which carry out surveys with families) are carrying out the survey, on behalf of a university in London – the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at University College London.

  • When will you visit me? 
    • The interviewer will call you and your parent(s) to arrange an appointment that works for you. Once the appointment has been booked in, you’ll be sent an appointment card with details of when the appointment is scheduled for. You can get in touch with the interviewer if you need to rearrange.

      We’d like your parent(s) to be home while the interviewer visits, and they’ll be involved in some parts of the visit. If it’s not possible for them to be there, then there should be an adult over the age of 18 at home during the visit.

  • What are you asking me to do? 
    • We would like you to answer some questions about your life – some of these questions will be asked to you by an interviewer, and others you’ll be asked to complete on your own using the interviewer’s tablet.

      We’d also like you to complete a number activity and have your height, weight and body fat measured. We’ll ask for your permission to add extra information to your survey answers – you can find more information about what this means in the “Adding Other Information About You” booklet, which the interviewer will send to you once you’ve made an appointment for them to visit.

      You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to, and you can always skip any parts of the visit you don’t want to do.

  • What measurements will you be asking for? 
    • We would like to measure your height, weight and body fat percentage. The height measurement will be taken using a stadiometer. For the weight and body fat measurements the interviewer will use a set of scales that measure body fat.

      The interviewer won’t tell you your measurements if you don’t want to know, although they can give you a record of them if you would like.

  • Why are the physical measurements important? 
    • We’ve taken your physical measurements every time we’ve visited you since you were three years old.  This provides valuable information about the growth of young people. For example, these measurements help to understand the extent diet and lifestyle contributes to the health of young people. Policymakers can use this information to design the most effective policies to help young people stay healthy.

  • What is the number activity? 
    • We would like you to do a number activity that help us understand how you do tasks that involve numbers. The activity is called the number analogies task. The interviewer will explain exactly what we’d like you to do when they visit. The activity is expected to take around 10 minutes.

      Some of you may find this kind of activity more enjoyable than others, and some of you might find it challenging. It’s really important that everyone takes part. You will not be given a score, and you should just try your best.

  • Why is the number activity important? 
    • We’ve asked you to complete different tasks each time we’ve visited you since you were three years old. These tasks have changed over the years, and it’s been ten years since we last asked you to do a number activity.

      By comparing these activities to your other survey answers, we can figure out how things like school, parents and home life are related to how you think.

  • How can I access my online questionnaire?  
    • If you agree to do the online questionnaire, your interviewer will give you your username and password on the blue “Completing a Questionnaire Online” information sheet that they will give you when they visit. You need to go to www.cncsurvey.co.uk, select the option for ‘Young Person’ questionnaire, and then enter your username and password.

      If you lose the information sheet, you can call the team on Freephone 0808 202 2012 or email childnc@ipsos.com. If you provided us with an email address or mobile number, you will also receive reminders to complete the questionnaire, which will contain the link to the questionnaire.

  • How do I complete my online questionnaire?   
    • You need to go to www.cncsurvey.co.uk, and log in using the details your interviewer gave you on the blue “Completing a Questionnaire Online” information sheet.

      You can complete the online questionnaire using a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can decide which one you would prefer to use, although you might find it easier to complete on a computer or tablet.

      We recommend you complete it all in one go. It should take around 15 minutes to finish. However, if that’s not possible, you can always leave it and come back, using the same login details. Once you’ve completed the questionnaire, you can submit your answers, and you won’t be able to edit them again.

  • Who can complete my online questionnaire? 
    • We’d like you to complete the online questionnaire on your own. We would like you to complete it straight after the interviewer has visited you, if you can.

      Your username and password are unique to you, so make sure you don’t share these with anybody else.

  • Why is the online questionnaire important?  
    • Completing the online questionnaire in addition to the answering the questions during the interviewer visit will help us to understand how different aspects of your lives affect your wellbeing, health and development. The information can also be compared to previous generations, to see how this might have changed over time.

  • What are you asking my parents to do? 
    • We’d like your parent(s) to complete a short 10-minute interview about the family situation, answer a small number of questions on paper (which will take about 5 minutes) and do a short online questionnaire. Ideally, we’d like them to complete this while the interviewer is visiting you.

  • Where can my parent(s) find details of the online questionnaire? 
    • If your parent(s) agree to do the online questionnaire, the interviewer will give them their username and password onto the pink “Completing a Questionnaire Online” sheet that they will give to your parent(s), or leave with you to give to your parent(s).  The sheet will contain details about how to access the questionnaire. We’d like them to complete the online questionnaire while the interviewer is visiting you, if possible.

      To access the questionnaire, they need to go to www.cncsurvey.co.uk, select the option for ‘Parent’ questionnaire, and then enter their username and password.

      If they lose their information sheet, they can call the team on Freephone 0808 202 2012 or email childnc@ipsos.com. If they provided us with an email address or mobile number, they will also receive reminders to complete the questionnaire, which will contain the link to the questionnaire.

  • You left a paper questionnaire for my parents to complete, what do they do with it? 
    • Once your parent has completed the questionnaire, we would like them to seal it in the pre-paid envelope and send it back to us. If they’ve misplaced the questionnaire or the envelope, they can call the team on Freephone 0808 202 2012 or email childnc@ipsos.com.

  • I need to rearrange my appointment with the interviewer – what should I do?
    • If you need to rearrange your appointment, please call the interviewer directly if you have their telephone number. If you don’t, you can call or email the CNC team on Freephone 0808 202 2102 or email childnc@ipsos.com.

  • What happens to the information I give? 
    • The information you give us will be held securely and be treated in strict confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation. Your name, contact details and any other details that may identify you will be kept separate from the information you give us in the survey.

      The information you give will be added together with the information collected from other young people in the survey. It will then be made available to researchers so they can find out about your generation.

Age 17 Survey: Questions about adding other information

  • What is “adding other information”? 
    • Government departments and agencies routinely collect information about all of us to help them plan and provide the services we need. This information is stored in administrative records. For example, our school records, which are held by the education department within the government.

      We would like to ask for your permission to add some of your information held in administrative records to the information we collect about you as part of the study.

      The ‘Adding Other Information About You’ booklet explains more about this. Please take the time to read it and make your decision before your interview. You should have been sent this booklet in the post ahead of your appointment, but can also find it here.

      You can also find out more by watching our video:

  • What information about me do you want to add?
    • The information we would like to add is kept in your education, health, work and benefits records, as well as any police and criminal justice records you may have.

      Education

      Education and training records including information about participation in school, further and higher education, exam results, vocational training and qualifications, after age 16. These records are kept by:

      • In England, the Department for Education.
      • In Wales, the Knowledge and Analytical Services within the Welsh Government.
      • In Scotland, the Education Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council and the Student Awards Agency Scotland.
      • In Northern Ireland, the Department of Education and the Department for the Economy.
      • In all countries, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and the Student Loans Company.

      Health

      National Health Service (NHS) records including visits to health services, details of health conditions, medications, treatments and surgery, as well as NHS numbers. These records are managed and maintained by:

      • NHS Digital in England.
      • NHS Wales Informatics Service’s Information Services Division (ISD).
      • Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland.
      • Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland.

      Work and benefits

      • Records kept by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) including information about jobs, earnings, tax, National Insurance and pensions provided through employers.
      • Records kept by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (and Northern Ireland Department for Communities, Social Security Agency (SSA)) including information about benefit receipt and participation in employment programmes.

      Police and criminal justice

      Police and criminal justice records including information about police arrests, official cautions, convictions and sentences. For those above the minimum age of criminal responsibility, these records are held by:

      • The Ministry of Justice in England and Wales.
      • Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland.
      • The Police Service and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland.
  • What if I don’t have a particular record? 
    • Not all the information we would like to add will be relevant to you right now, or, for some of you, ever. For example, we know that not many of you will be at university now and some of you may not be intending to go. It would still be very useful to add information from these records, as it will mean that we can get to know about any university admissions and costs in the future. You may not be in work yet, but by adding this information about you we can learn about any future jobs you have.

  • Why is adding other information important?
    • We learn a lot about your lives from the questions we ask in the surveys, but adding other information from administrative records helps us build a more complete picture of what life is really like for you.

      Adding other information opens up new possibilities for researchers who use Child of the New Century (CNC) to understand the experiences of your generation and to improve the services you use and the places you live. It helps us to make the information collected as valuable and accurate as possible, allowing to fill in the blanks for details you may not know or remember (for example the date of a hospital visit); spot new trends and connections; as well as understand what policies and services work and which do not.

      Adding administrative information has already, for example, helped change the way bullying is tackled, support summer born children in schools, and assess school performance more fairly.

  • Can you give me some assurances?
      • We are not asking to access information that relates to your parents, partners, brothers, sisters or children.
      • Government departments and agencies will only receive the details they need to accurately identify your records, nothing more.
      • Your decision about whether or not to add information from your records will not affect your benefits, tax, employment, health treatment or any health insurance.
      • Your details cannot be used to see whether you are paying the right amount of tax or loan repayments or claiming the right type of benefits.
      • This is not a way for the police to find things out about you that they didn’t already know.
  • How do you add this information? 
    • With your permission, we send your unique ID (unique identifier) and some personal details such as your name, sex, address and date of birth, your NHS and National Insurance (NI) number – if available, to government departments and agencies. In other words, we use information which is unique to you so that your records can be identified by the government department or agency who hold records about you. We do not send your survey responses or other information about you.

      Your administrative records are then identified and the information from these records is sent back to the CNC team along with your unique ID. Your personal details are not included in the file that is sent back to us. These are destroyed after your records have been identified. The CNC team then match your administrative records to your survey responses using your unique ID.

  • Where can I find my National Insurance (NI) number?
    • It would be helpful if you could have your NI number to hand when the interviewer visits. You can find this number on your national insurance letter, which is sent to you when you turn 16, or if you’re not sure where it is, you can also find it on your payslip, P45, or P60.

      We’d like you to tell us your National Insurance number if you’re happy to add your economic or student loans records as it will help the government bodies and agencies find your information.

  • Will the people who hold my information see my survey answers?
    • Government departments and agencies will only receive the personal details they need to establish an accurate match to your records – such as name, address, date of birth, NI or NHS number – if available – nothing more. After your records have been identified, these details will be deleted. No information that you have given us during the study will be added to your administrative records.

  • How do you keep my information safe?
    • To keep your information safe, it is encrypted and sent via secure transfer systems. All information collected by and added to CNC is treated with the strictest confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • Who will use the information?
    • The matched survey and administrative information will be used for research purposes only and under restricted access conditions via the UK Data Service (UKDS) or the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN). This information will never contain your name, address, NHS and NI number, or date of birth.

      Professional researchers who want to use the matched information must be registered with the UKDS or ADRN.  To access matched information which contains more detailed information, researchers must also apply to an independent committee. Researchers will only be given permission to use the information if they present a strong scientific case for the research and explain its wider value to society.

  • Can I be identified?
    • No. At no point will your name or address be connected to your matched information. We have strict controls about the way that information is added together to ensure that no one can work out who you are. Information from different administrative records will not be included in the same data file if it is possible to identify you.

  • Have you asked me or my parents about this before?
    • This is the first time you have been asked to give your own permission to add information about you.

      Your parents have previously been asked for their permission to add some of your health (up to age 14) and education (up to age 16) records to the information that we have collected about you as part of the study. We also asked them for permission to add your siblings’ health and educations records – if relevant, as well as their own health and economic records. Most of these permissions were collected at the age 7 survey. Your parents were also asked for permission to link to maternity and birth records when you were a baby.

  • How do the permissions that I give now relate to my parents’ permissions given in the past?
    • Your parents’ permission to add information from your education records (up to age 16) will remain valid in all countries, and your own permissions now will enable us to add information from your education and training records after age 16.

      In England, the permissions that you give at age 17, for adding health records, will override those that your parents may have given when you were 7. In other words, your permissions now will be used to add information from your health records from birth onwards. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, your parents’ permission to add information from your health records up to age 14 will remain valid regardless of any permissions given now.

  • Can my parent(s) decide on my behalf?
    • We understand this is a decision that you might want to involve your parent(s) in, so we would like you to discuss this with them, if you wish. However, it is your choice.

  • Do I have to give permission to all consents?
    • No. You can agree for us to add information from all of the records we ask about, from just some of the records or to add nothing at all – it’s your choice. Whatever decision you make, we would still really like you to take part in the survey.

  • Can I check what I agreed to add?
    • Yes. The interviewer will give you a paper copy of the permissions that you have agreed to at the end of their visit. You can also call the study team to confirm this.

  • How long will the permission last?
    • The information we’d like to add relates to your past, present and future circumstances. The CNC team will collect this information on an ongoing basis for the duration of the study unless you tell us to stop.

  • Can I change my permissions or those of my parents given on my behalf?
    • Yes. You can change your mind about adding information from these records 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.

  • Can I see information from my records?
    • You have a basic right to request any information held about you by any data holding organisation at any given time. If you want to see the full information included about you by any of the data holding government departments or agencies, you need to enquire directly with the individual organisations. We would be happy to provide you contact details for doing so.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

      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 are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide us with your personal data. You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time. If you do this, we won’t contact you anymore, but we will keep your contact details as a historic record that you were once a member of the study.

  • 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 comes into force on 25th May 2018. Because the GDPR is a regulation, it is directly binding and applicable. The new Data Protection Bill (2018) will bring the GDPR into British law, and will be 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 1998 (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, or about how your data is processed 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

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 fully anonymised and cannot be used to identify 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, and those of your brothers and sisters, to the survey data. We asked your parents rather than you as for people under 16 parental permission is needed. They may have also previously given permission for their own health and/or economic records to be added.

      We have already started adding some information from these records to the information we have collected about you as part of the survey. 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 example, for those of you in England, Wales and Scotland, we have already added some information from your primary school records. 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.