What is the Kids' Life and Times Survey?

Increasing participation and monitoring the attitudes of children in Northern Ireland.

All too often the opinions of children are ignored when decisions are made about many of the issues involving them. In 2008, ARK researchers at the two Northern Ireland universities established the Kids' Life and Times survey to give children a voice and an opportunity to help influence policies that affect them.

The Kids’ Life and Times survey is an annual survey of all Primary 7 children in Northern Ireland covering what they think about school and other issues important to children today. The majority of the children will be 11 years old when they participate in the survey and at the end of their primary school years. This is an important stage in a child’s life and the survey is an affirmation of his or her capacity to reflect on their lives and their school years to date.

By inviting respondents to suggest topics for the next year's survey, we make sure that the issues covered are relevant to the lives of children in Northern Ireland today.

The surveys take place every year, and funders have included the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Psychology Research Institute (University of Ulster), Department of Education for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, and the Improving Children's Lives initiative (Queen's University Belfast). Contact details of schools are supplied by the Department of Education. 

How do we use the information?

The results of the surveys are used in a number of ways, including being published on the web, in reports, disseminated to and used by children's organisations, used for educational training purposes and published in academic journals. The tables of results from the surveys as well as the datasets in SPSS format are available on the Kids' Life and Times survey website. We ensure that anonymity is guaranteed and information will not be used in any way that would identify a school, a child or a family.

How do children take part in the survey?

The survey consists of an online questionnaire lasting about 20-25 minutes which is accessed online in school.


Whether you are at school or at college, work in the media, government or voluntary sector, or whether you are just interested in what the children of Northern Ireland think about the issues of the day, we hope you find something useful on this website. If you have any comments about the survey or the website, please let us know.

KLT is a freely available resource for anyone interested in attitudes of people in Northern Ireland. There is no charge to use the statistics or data available on this website. However, we are always interested in how the findings are used, and so would be very grateful if you would let us know how you have used them. In particular, copies or links to reports or articles are very welcome. Our contact details are available in the Helpline section.