Latest data gathered as part of the WISERD Education Multi Cohort Study (WMCS) reveal the heightened levels of anxiety experienced by young people during lockdown and the ongoing effects of growing up in Wales post-pandemic. Nearly all (93%) of pupils felt the pandemic had affected their learning and over half (57%) think Covid will reduce their opportunities to travel in the future.
When asked “What are you most looking forward to in the next year”, the overwhelming response was “I don’t know”, reflecting the feeling of uncertainty that we’ve all become accustomed to in recent years.
However, rather than alleviate the stress around Covid and its effects on learning and future plans, the rollout of a vaccination programme seems to have further compounded these worries for some. Only half of the young people in our survey believed the vaccine to be safe.
Further questions about young people’s experiences of the pandemic, along with other issues that are important to them, formed the basis of this year’s annual survey, which collected responses from secondary school pupils in years 7, 9 and 11.
Following successive cohorts of young people from over 20 secondary schools across Wales, the longitudinal nature of this study is key to providing a robust basis for the comparison of data. This will become increasingly important over the next few years as Wales starts to implement its new school curriculum. The WMCS will be ideally placed to provide evidence of the extent to which changes in the curriculum are affecting young people’s experience of school.
Data collected from secondary school pupils in years 7, 9 and 11, June-July 2021.