Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions

The Big Ask survey is the largest consultation with children and young people in England ever conducted.

This page is here to answer common questions that you might have about the survey. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, you can contact us at [email protected]

What age range are you targeting and how are the surveys different for different ages?

There will be different versions for the following age groups:

  • 4-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • 13-17
  • 18+

Each version has been professionally designed to be appropriate and engaging and has been piloted with children in the relevant age group. There will also be two ‘easy read’ accessible versions of the survey, one for 6-8 year-olds and one for 9-17 year olds.

How long do we have to complete the survey?

The survey will be live for a month, launching on Monday 19 April and closing on Friday 28 May.

How are you making sure the survey goes to all children?

The survey will be online and available to any child who can access the internet. We will also send the survey to organisations and services working with children including: schools, youth groups, local authorities, charities who work with children and young people, Children in Care Councils, children’s homes, children’s mental health services, youth justice settings, community groups, and many more.

But we could always do with extra help to make sure this survey reaches more children. If you know any networks or communities that we should send the survey to, then please let us know at [email protected]

We will also be sharing materials which people can use to promote the survey on social media.

How are you making sure you capture the experiences of 0-3 year olds?

An online survey isn’t an appropriate way to learn about the experiences or need of this age group. But we will be running focus groups with many different communities and groups of children, which will include talking to parents of very young children.

How are you making sure children who are non-verbal can respond? How are you making sure children with SEND can take part?

There will be two ‘easy read’ versions of the survey available, but children and young people with complex needs may need additional adult support to help them answer the questions. We are also running focus groups with for children with SEND or complex needs, to learn directly what they think is important for their future.

Are there any teaching materials for pupils with SEND?

Some of the resources we have provided are appropriate for children and young people with SEND, for example the debate resources provided by Votes for Schools indicate where particular material is appropriate for children and young people with additional needs and the secondary form session and primary assembly have been designed to be appropriate for all abilities. We are working on adding more SEND appropriate teaching and learning materials. If you have a question about supporting children and young people with additional needs with completing the survey please get in touch: [email protected]

What are you doing to make sure children outside mainstream education receive the survey?

We will send the survey to organisations and services working with children, including: schools, youth groups, local authorities, charities who work with children and young people, Children in Care Councils, children’s homes, children’s mental health services, youth justice settings, community groups, and many more.

We are also running focus groups with to children outside mainstream education to gather their views directly.

But we could always do with extra help to make sure this survey reaches more children. If you know any networks or communities that we should send the survey to, then please let us know at [email protected]

How will children in the secure estate receive the survey?

The survey is being sent directly to managers of secure settings. We are also engaging with children’s advocates, who will be able to help the children in these settings to complete the survey.

Why are you sending out via the Oak Academy?

The survey will be launched in April, when some children may still be learning from home occasionally if they are shielding or self-isolating. Oak National Academy is the best way to make sure children learning from home are also able to access the survey and are not excluded.

Do you have a specific target for the number of children you want to reply?

We want this to be accessible to as many children as possible and are doing all we can to make the survey engaging and interesting, to encourage them to take part. The more children and young people take part the better

Will the survey be anonymous?

Yes. The survey does not ask respondents to submit any directly identifiable information such as their name. The data will be kept confidential by the CCO. View our full Data Protection Impact Assessment.

Why are you asking for my postcode?

We need to know what area you live in so that we can see if children who live in different parts of the country have different views, and so that we can look at the results for a specific town or local area.

We will only use your postcode to find out what local area you live in, and then we will delete the postcode information. We won’t use this information to identify or track you.

Why are we asking for the name of the school the child attends?

We are asking for school for two main reasons:

  1. As this is an online ‘opt-in’ survey, we know that some groups are more likely to fill in our survey than others. The research conducted by ImpactEd and SchoolDash with schools last year showed that school characteristics were useful for understanding where responses may have been lower for certain groups. So, we will look at the school characteristics as well as the characteristics of the respondent to understand where the survey has good coverage.
  2. We want to understand the relationship between the high-level school characteristics such as the type of school, the percentage of children in receipt of free school meals and the local authority the school is in and the opinions and experiences of the young people who respond to our survey. This will help us to make informed recommendations where additional, targeted support may be required.

We won’t publish or release any data at the school-level or identify any schools in any of our publications.

What will happen to the data in the survey after you’ve finished your report?

Data is retained by CCO for two years at which point it is securely deleted unless there is a compelling reason to keep it, for example, if new research which was in the public interest could be carried out using the data.

Can 18-year-olds take part in the survey?

They can! There is a survey form for adults aged 18+ too which will be available at the same time. This will be a shorter form that will look a little different to the forms designed for children and young people but we will still be capturing the views of adults as part of The Big Ask.

Are we able to provide translations of the survey in other languages?

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to provide translations.