1. Introduction

This is a unique study looking at the health and wellbeing of children and young people in England in 2020. There have been three national studies of children and young people’s health and wellbeing. The last one was carried out in 2017 and involved 9,000 children and young people. We are following up in 2020 to find out how everyone is getting on since they last took part in 2017. The 2020 study is now covering those aged from 5 to 22.

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2. Why is this study important?

The information collected from these studies has been used to:

  • build a picture of the health and wellbeing of children and young people in England
  • look at how common different kinds of health conditions are and the kinds of things that are associated with health, development and wellbeing
  • provide England’s best information source of how children and young people’s health and wellbeing is changing over time
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3. Who is carrying out the study?

The Office for National Statistics are carrying out the study alongside the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). We are conducting the study on behalf of NHS Digital, with funding from the Department of Health and Social Care.

NHS Digital is a Public Body and is the national provider of information, statistics, data and IT systems for health and social care in England. NHS Digital works in partnership with the NHS and other national organisations to help make decisions to improve people’s care and wellbeing.

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4. Why should I take part?

Your answers will provide vital information about the health and wellbeing of children and young people and what has changed since they last took part in the study in 2017.

By taking part you will help the NHS, policy makers and charities make the right decisions about important issues that affect the health and wellbeing of children and young people. The results from this study will also inform researchers on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will look at how policymakers need to respond to support those affected and at the needs of future health and educational systems.

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5. Do I have to take part?

Taking part is entirely voluntary and if you do decide to take part, you can choose to answer as many or as few questions as you like. You can also change your mind at any time and withdraw from the study.

We rely on the voluntary cooperation and goodwill of those who are selected to make the study a success.

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6. What is involved?

This follow-up study involves a short online questionnaire. You will receive a letter in the post with instructions on how to access the online survey.

You can access the online questionnaire, available at a website hosted by our partners, NatCen Social Research).

The letter will include your unique code to access the survey.

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7. What will you ask me questions about?

If you are a parent or carer, the online questionnaire asks a range of things about your child. These include general health and wellbeing. There are also questions about your current circumstances and life experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, as we know that parents and carers play such an important part in a child’s life. Ideally, we would like the adult who took part in 2017 to take part again, although this is not essential.

If you are aged between 11 and 16 years at the 31August 2020, we will also ask you to complete an online question after your parent or carer has completed theirs. This asks about your health and wellbeing, as well as your contact with family and friends and your experiences and thoughts during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are aged between 17 and 22 years, the online questionnaire asks about your health and wellbeing, as well as your current circumstances and your experiences and thoughts during the coronavirus pandemic.

For parents, carers and young people aged between 17 and 22 years, the online questionnaire will take around 20 minutes to complete. If you are aged between 11 and 16 years the online questionnaire will take around 10 minutes to complete.

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8. Will I receive a voucher for taking part?

Each household will receive a £10 shopping voucher that can be used in a range of high street and online shops, to say thank you for completing the study.

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9. Why have I been selected?

You have been selected because your household took part in the National Study of Health and Wellbeing: Children and Young People 2017 and someone in your household said that you would be happy to be re-contacted about any future studies.

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10. Do I have to complete the online questionnaire in one go?

It should only take 20 minutes to complete, but if you are interrupted and need to exit the questionnaire then you will be able to return to where you left off. The questionnaire will be saved automatically, so you can close your internet browser and return to complete it at a more convenient time. To regain access to the questionnaire, just go to the link that is in your letter and you will return to where you left off.

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11. The online questionnaire timed out

To protect the confidentiality of your answers, the questionnaire is closed down if it is left for a period of time. Your answers will have been saved so you can log back in by clicking on the link we sent you in the email.

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12. I have completed my questionnaire, but you sent me a letter to remind me to do this

Thank you for taking part! It might be that you completed the questionnaire after we had checked our records. We apologise, but we will have safely received your answers.

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13. Is the study confidential?

Yes. Any information given will be treated in confidence and we will handle your data in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The data will be used for statistical and research purposes only and nothing we publish will identify you or your household.

You can read more about the study privacy policy, on NatCen’s website.

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14. Sharing data with our service providers

We sometimes share selected information with our service providers to help us run our surveys. We only share the personal details they need to know. This includes organisations such as the one which print the letters we will send you and the one which will handle the email communication between us.

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15. Linking survey answers to other information

We will ask for your consent to link your study answers to data held by the Office for National Statistics, NHS Digital and the Department for Education. You can cancel this permission at any time. This would let us add information from health and education records to look at how a person’s lifestyle and experiences can have an impact on their future health and education.

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16. Follow-up studies

In the future, ONS, NatCen or NHS Digital may want to contact you about follow-up research on mental health and wellbeing. We will only invite you to take part in follow-up research if you give consent for this. We will not pass on any of your details without your permission. If you are invited to take part in any future studies, you will be free to refuse if you do not want to take part.

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17. How will the results be used?

Data collected will be held by NatCen Social Research, the Office for National Statistics and NHS Digital. The answers you give will be put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people across England, analysed anonymously and published in a report.

The results from this study will be used by the NHS, policy makers and charities to understand more about the health and wellbeing of children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

All results will be published in a report, that will be freely available. A link to this report will be published on here when it is available.

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18. Who has reviewed the study?

The study has been looked at by an independent group of people called a Research Ethics Committee. This study has been reviewed and approved by the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee.

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19. Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any queries about taking part in the study, please contact us on +44 (0)800 298 5313. The opening times for the phone line are:

Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm
Saturday 8am to 1pm

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