Child of the New Century (CNC) has followed you through primary school and will continue to gather information about your lives in secondary school. Researchers have used CNC to learn more about a wide range of issues relating to school life, including achievement and bullying.

School choice

CNC has shown that parents considered several factors when choosing a school for their child. Most parents wanted their children to go to primary schools with good academic results that were not too far from home. Many parents also preferred schools that weren’t religious. At age 11, nearly 4 in 10 children attended mixed-sex and non-religious state schools.

When it came to secondary school choices, lots of young people were starting to make their own decisions about their future. One in three families said the most important factor was that their child liked the school. The school’s exam results were also a key consideration for many parents.

School achievement

Studies based on CNC have revealed that lots of things can affect how you do in school.

For instance, researchers have found that the month you were born could influence which classes or sets you are in.  Their findings showed that children born in the summer months were in general more likely to be placed in lower sets because they were almost a year younger than their classmates born in September – but there are of course many other factors that determine which sets you are in too.

Research has also found that factors such as your family background, parents’ education, parents’ jobs, and whether you are a boy or a girl are closely related to how well you do in school.


In the age 7 survey, you were asked whether you were bullied at school. Researchers found that primary school pupils with special educational needs were twice as likely as other children to be bullied a lot. Overall, more than 1 in 10 children with special needs said they were always bullied by other pupils, compared to just over 1 in 20 of their classmates.

The researchers also found that children with a long-term illness or impairment that limited their day-to-day activity, such as type 1 diabetes, asthma or partial sight, were slightly more likely to be bullied than other children.


What Parents Want: School preferences and school choice (2009) by Simon Burgess, Ellen Greaves, Anna Vignoles and Deborah Wilson

In-school ability grouping and the month of birth effect: Preliminary evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study (2013) by Tammy Campbell

Ethnicity and gender gaps in early childhood (2013) by Kirstine Hansen and Elizabeth Jones

Prevalence of streaming in UK primary schools: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study (2013) by Sue Hallam and Sam Parsons

Poverty, Family Resources and Children’s Early Educational Attainment: The Mediating Role of Parenting (2011) by Kathleen Kiernan and Fiona Mensah

Bullying experiences among disabled children and young people in England: Evidence from two longitudinal studies (2014) by Stella Chatzitheochari, Sam Parsons and Lucinda Platt