Five to Twelve

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), the largest independent social research organisation in Britain, is leading a new national study called Five to Twelve. This research has been commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE). This study will follow a group of Year 1 pupils from both the state and independent sectors to take a closer look into educational disadvantages and inequalities in contemporary England. This study aims to achieve 8,500 successful responses. NFER and the National Children’s Bureau are collaborating partners in this work.

A key aim of the study is to collect data over time on pupils’ wellbeing, experiences, transitions and outcomes at school. This data will help researchers and policymakers to understand and improve educational inequalities experienced by children and their families across England. Areas of interest addressed in the studies include family life, digital engagement, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), emotional and behavioural wellbeing and COVID-19.

During the 2024 spring term, NFER will be approaching selected independent sector prep schools inviting them to help support the Five to Twelve research programme. Taking part is completely voluntary. Five to Twelve

Five to Twelve focuses on children at primary school (Years 1 to 6). By following the same group of children and their families for a number of years, the study aims to understand how children’s school, home life and relationships shape their future education, development and outcomes.

Schools contacted by NFER have a key role in recruiting a nationally representative sample of children for this important study. Schools will be asked to complete a short online form to inform NFER of their interest. At this stage, this would involve the school inviting Year 1 parents/carers to take part, using materials provided by NFER. Once interest is confirmed, parents/carers will be asked to engage directly with NatCen, who will offer them further information.

View further information about Five to Twelve, including FAQs. Please note that the NatCen website describes the study detail for state sector schools, which has some differences to the research process for independent schools that NFER is supporting.

You can view Five To Twelve's Privacy Notice here.

To contact NFER about Five to Twelve, please email [email protected].