History of Next Steps (LSYPE) in England

Next Steps, formerly known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), is a major survey of young people born between 1 September 1989 and 31 August 1990. Originally commissioned by the then Department for Children, Schools and Families (now Department for Education, DfE), the study was designed to examine key factors affecting educational progress, attainment and transitions following the end of compulsory education.

The study began in 2004 when the young people were aged 13 to 14, and included pupils in both state and independent schools, as well as Pupil Referral Units. The first survey collected information on approximately 15,770 young people.

Following the initial survey, cohort members were interviewed annually until age 19-20. Data was collected via face to face interviewing for the first four waves of the survey and included interviews with cohort members’ parents. Waves 5, 6 and 7 used a mixed mode approach in which the young person could complete the interview either online, over the telephone or face to face as they had previously. The last three surveys included the young person only.

Next Steps interview data have been supplemented by linking to National Pupil Database records, and includes individual achievement from Key Stage 2 to 4 (GCSE), as well as school-level characteristics.

The study is the only major national longitudinal survey focusing on young people born in the early 1990s, their pathways through the teenage years and their transitions to adulthood.

In 2013, the management of Next Steps was transferred to the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London. CLS is currently undertaking the eighth survey (July 2015 - May 2016), when the cohort members are 25.