Life and Times: 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.
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
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.
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
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. A sample of the animated survey
can be seen on the Kids’ Life and Times section of the ARK website.
Kids' Life and Times
is a freely available resource for anyone interested in the attitudes
of children 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
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. Browse the site and find out. If you have any comments about
the survey or the website, please let us know.