COSMO used a multi-stage stratified cluster random probability sample from the National Pupil Database, with additional private school sampling, successfully recruiting more than 13,000 young people who were in Year 11 in 2020-21, attending over 500 schools across England.
The study oversampled schools with higher proportions of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and ethnic minorities to ensure it reflects the full range of experiences of the pandemic.
This oversampling, as well as targeted face-to-face follow ups, helped to guard against lower response rates from such groups and ensure minimum sample sizes among such groups for analysis of inequalities.
The Sutton Trust also commissioned an additional sub-sample of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with high potential, a group important for social mobility. This project, supported by XTX Markets, will enable understanding of the barriers to mobility faced by young people from different backgrounds, and inform the Trust’s policy advocacy work, as well as their programmatic work with young people.
Wave 1 data collection involved multi-mode web-first fieldwork (initial invite to an online survey, with targeted face-to-face follow up) with young people and parents between October 2021 and April 2022.
Topics covered across wave 1 questionnaires include experiences of the pandemic, financial impacts in the home, disruption to schooling, access to home learning and school provision, attitudes to education, mental health and wellbeing, as well as GCSE assessment in 2021 and the crucial post-16 transition.
Wave 1 Young Person Questionnaire
Wave 1 Parent Questionnaire
Data access and documentation
COSMO data and documentation is available through the UK Data Service.
It is hoped that survey data linked to the National Pupil Database will be available through the ONS Secure Research Service soon.
Read the Wave 1 User Guide.
Read the Wave 1 Technical Report - including Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C and Appendix