Children & Young People
Childhood plays a pivotal role in who we become as adults: from our educational attainment and progression into work, to how we form relationships with others.
Children and young people are two of the most vulnerable groups in society, and forming a more complete understanding of their lives and of how early experiences affect later life is vital. Investing in research and policy around children and young people will allow us to not only safeguard and support the next generation, but enrich their lives and allow each child and young person the opportunity to excel.
Children and Young People is one of ADR UK’s flagship research themes. It is aimed at enabling a more comprehensive assessment of the experience of childhood in the UK to in turn develop a better understanding of what does and doesn’t work in public sector services for children and young people. This includes assessing trends in vulnerability, wellbeing and welfare in early life and their impact upon later life experiences.
There are several ambitious new data linkage projects – as well as research projects using existing linked data – being undertaken across the partnership within this theme. These include, for example, linking together 2011 Census data with attainment data from the Department for Education (DfE) to create an anonymised longitudinal dataset on children in England: the ‘Growing Up in England’ dataset.
ADR Scotland is leading on the ‘Understanding Children’s Outcomes’ project, which is linking pupil census data for Scotland with Scottish Government data on looked-after children, children’s health, births and deaths, and the 2001/2011 national census.
ADR Northern Ireland (ADR NI) and ADR Wales are conducting important work examining the lives of looked-after children. In Northern Ireland, 30 years’ worth of individual-level social services data from Social Services Care Administrative and Records Environment are being linked to prescribed medication data, hospital data, the registry of self-harm and death records and the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS), creating the UK’s first historical, population-wide cohort of those known to social services as children.
You can find out more about these projects and others underway within this theme by exploring the links below and visiting the ‘Projects’ page.
ADR England Children & Young People Representative Panel
To ensure the needs and interests of children and young people are properly considered in research using their data, the ADR England Children & Young People Representative Panel enables researchers to engage with those who work directly with or for children and young people in England. There are currently 15 members of the Panel from a variety of third sector organisations, voluntary and community groups and professional practices – all working directly with or on behalf of children and young people.
Panel members have the first-hand knowledge and expertise to be able to represent the interests of children and young people in discussions around their data and its research uses. Their input and advice helps ensure research is as impactful as possible by enabling researchers to frame their work around the most pressing issues faced by children and young people, as well as by helping to facilitate direct engagement with children and young people. See the full Terms of Reference for the Panel.
To find out more about other community and public engagement activities underway across the ADR UK partnership, see the Working with the Public page.
Children & Young People Projects
Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort
19 January 2023
This project aims to set up a new national data resource that will allow researchers to examine how local physical and social environments influence children’s health and schooling across England.
Engaging with Children
10 August 2022
In this new pilot project, ADR Scotland is working in partnership with Children in Scotland to talk with children and young people directly to learn about their views on administrative data, how it is collected, stored and used and to discuss how results of research projects using data are communicated.
ADR UK Research Fellows: Grading and Admissions Data for England
20 July 2022
ADR UK is funding a 12-month Research Fellowship to conduct analysis using the newly available Grading and Admissions Data for England (GRADE).
Children & Young People News
Using linked data to evaluate special educational needs provision and offending risk
20 January 2023
Dr Alice Wickersham is an ADR UK Research Fellow exploring associations between school performance trajectories and offending behaviour. In this blog, she shares some opportunities and challenges around the potential for target trial emulation in this area of research. This involves applying design principles from randomised controlled trials to the analysis of observational datasets.
Finding out ‘what works and what doesn’t’ with administrative data
2 December 2022
This blog from Giulia Tagliaferri and James Farrington follows newly-published work linking archived trials data from the Education Endowment Foundation to administrative data – and reflects on the benefits of this kind of analysis. Giulia is Head of Quantitative Research for the Behavioural Insights Team; James the Research Advisor leading the analysis.
Scout and Guide participation boosts later life health
27 October 2022
Children who participated in Scouts or Guides were around 35% more likely to report excellent health at age 50 compared to their peers, findings show.
Find out more
If you are a researcher interested in working with admistrative data within this theme, or a policymaker interested in how ADR UK work can improve your insights and support your decision making in this area, please get in touch.