Educational aspiration and attainment, school systems, transitions in and out of education and the long-term implications of education - Understanding Society can be used to investigate a wide range of issues

Questionnaire grid

Understanding Society has many modules that related to education research areas. The following grid highlights which modules we ask, what types of information is included, and how often the modules are included. Some modules are answered by adults (aged 16 and over), whilst others are asked to the youth panel (aged 10-15).


How often asked?

Broad content

Data on adults

Initial conditions Wave 1 (or panel entry) Highest level of education (updated each year)
Educational aspirations Annual (except Wave 1) Likelihood of entering further education, reasons not wanting to enter further education – asked if respondent is a full-time student or at a school/college
Parental education Waves 1 and 2 Highest level of education of each parent
Cognitive function Wave 3 Various measures of cognitive function using tests of word recall, arithmetic, number series and verbal fluency

Data on children and young people

Parents and children Waves 1, 3 and 5 Helping children with homework, importance of education, type of school attended by child (state or private)
Youth questionnaire Multiple (most of two yearly rotations) Truancy, homework, parental involvement in education, misbehaviour in school, frequency (and type) of bullying
Linked data
School records (NPD) Wave 1 Background information, attainment, absence and exclusion records for children from age 5 to 18
School identifiers Waves 1, 3 and 5 School codes to enable links to official statistics, for example, Ofsted reports, school performance tables, teachers, financial resources