Kids Life and Time / Young Life and Times Surveys

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NICCY commissioned modules in two surveys from ARK – the Kids Life and Times Survey (KLTS) and the Young Life and Times Survey (YLTS) to gather information on the experiences of children and young people during the Covid pandemic (ARK is a Northern Ireland social policy hub, established in 2000 by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, with the primary goal to increase the accessibility and use of academic data and research).

The questions were developed through engagement with the NICCY Youth Panel. They reviewed the 11 recommendations from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s  Statement, and identified the areas that would be appropriate to include in a survey, recognising that some recommendations could only be assessed  through  accessing other data sources. NICCY staff then worked with the Youth Panel members to draft a ‘wish list’ of questions and then to reduce these to ones they considered most essential. Together we then adapted these to suit the age ranges for the two surveys. ARK staff advised on amending these to ensure they were robust.

The KLTS is an annual survey which has been running since 2008. It uses online questionnaires and is targeted at P7 children  in primary schools across Northern Ireland. The fieldwork for the 2020 KLTS was carried out between 12 October 2020 and 26 February 2021. There were approximately 25,450 P7 age pupils attending 842 primary schools (this included P7 age children in special and independent schools).  Questions on the KLTS 2020 related to home and family, school and bullying, shared education and the impact of COVID-19 on children’s rights. With regard to the latter, the survey was necessarily  focused on the experiences of children during the first lockdown.

The YLTS is an annual survey which has been run since 1998 and records the views of 16-year-olds in Northern Ireland on a range of issues such as community relations, health, politics, sectarianism and education. In this survey, young people were also asked several questions specifically related to COVID-19, devised as explained above, by the NICCY Youth Panel.

Exceptional circumstances in 2020 and 2021 meant that the survey field originally planned for the last quarter of 2020 had to be postponed to May 2021. While the original intention was to include very similar questions as in the KLTS, the delay in fieldwork required that some of these were adjusted to reflect that there had been a second lockdown.

Evidence from the surveys is referenced throughout the ‘A New and Better Normal’ report both through statistical information and qualitative responses from young people.

Data and Surveys

However, to do justice to the immense quantity and quality of the evidence gathered through the surveys, see the links below which provide for additional supporting information.