Right tick in the box

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
You raise the spectre of research findings being manipulated to hide the truth in your report of the YouthLink survey (November 11).

Unfortunately, the truth is rather more mundane. In our surveys, in 2003 and again in 2005, we asked young people to indicate what qualifications they anticipated leaving school with.

When we examined the data in the 2003 survey, it was clear that some young people had indicated that they anticipated getting Highers, but had omitted to tick the box for Standard grades. As this is a clear logical inconsistency, we re-coded the data to ensure that the data for Standard grades was a true reflection of the proportion that anticipated gaining at least Standard grades. When we compared these figures with official attainment data, they were remarkably consistent.

This process was repeated in 2005, revealing a high level of consistency in the expectations of young people (no story there then). But because YouthLink released the survey data without this back-coding exercise, suspicions have been raised.

The re-coded figures for 2005 are 83 per cent Standard grades and 69 per cent Highers. Sorry to spoil the fun, but it seems only fair to the thousands of young people in Scotland who took part in the study to set the record straight.

Simon Braunholtz

Managing director

Mori Scotland

Albany Street, Edinburgh

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today