We have detected that you are using Internet Explorer to visit this website. Internet Explorer is now being phased out by Microsoft. As a result, NHS Digital no longer supports any version of Internet Explorer for our web-based products, as it involves considerable extra effort and expense, which cannot be justified from public funds. Some features on this site will not work. You should use a modern browser such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you have difficulty installing or accessing a different browser, contact your IT support team.
What About Youth study
Find out more about the What About Youth (WAY) study, which was launched as part of a government pledge to make improvements to the health of young people.
Public consultation findings - we undertook a public consultation on the survey in winter 2016, to ensure that any future survey continues to be relevant and still meets user needs.
Why we did this survey
The overall purpose was to collect robust local level data on a range of topics relating to young people, to help to drive an improvement in outcomes. The users and stakeholders would be local authority commissioners, policy makers, service providers and third-sector organisations.
Managing the survey
We carried out the study on behalf of the Department of Health, with Ipsos MORI, an independent research agency, running the study.
What the survey involved
Around 300,000 15 year-olds were randomly selected from the Department for Education's National Pupil Database (NPD), which contains details of every pupil in England. They were invited to complete a questionnaire about their health and wellbeing on paper or online. Around 120,000 completed questionnaires were returned.
Data was collected on topics including smoking, emotional wellbeing, diet, physical activity, drugs, alcohol and bullying.
What we do with the answers
The answers given are completely confidential and nobody can be identified from our published results. The results collected are used for research purposes only.
You will never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us and we never pass on your details to other organisations for commercial purposes.
In 2015 we ran a short survey to get the views of potential users of WAY data on the planned outputs of the report. The results of this survey have now been collated and analysed and are available in our outcome paper.