CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 This report presents the findings of a survey of secondary school children in Scotland, carried out for the Europe, External Affairs and Culture Directorate of the Scottish Government. The computer tabulations can be found in a separate volume.
1.2 The survey was conducted using IpsosMORI Scotland's Schools Omnibus, an annual survey of secondary school pupils. The overall aim of this study was to provide a picture of children's participation in culture and sport, to complement the forthcoming findings of the Scottish Household Survey ( SHS), which will provide data on adult participation.
1.3 Topic areas covered in this report include:
- Frequency of participation in culture and the arts outside of school, including library usage and visits to historical sites, museums and galleries;
- Participation in culture and the arts in school time;
- Attendance at cultural and sports events outside of school time and as part of school trips;
- Participation in sports and physical activity outside of school time, including club membership;
- Involvement in physical recreation both in PE classes and other types of physical activity organised through school;
- Young people's involvement in volunteering.
Sampling and Fieldwork
1.4 The sampling universe comprised 369 secondary state schools throughout Scotland with and without special education units in all but one educational authority, and excluded special schools. This sampling frame was stratified by education authority and within each stratum, schools were selected proportional to the size of the school register, thus producing a nationally representative sample of secondary schools.
1.5 Fieldwork was carried out between 14 February and 1 April 2008. Of the 213 schools approached, fifty agreed to participate in the survey, giving a response rate of 23%. Fully completed questionnaires were obtained from 2,221 pupils, with an average of 23 pupils per class.
1.6 The age groups included in the survey were 11-18 year olds in curriculum years S1 to S6 and each school was randomly allocated two of these curriculum years. The survey was administered using self-completion questionnaires in a mixed ability class such as Personal Social Education or Religious Education during one classroom period. An IpsosMORI interviewer was present to explain the survey to pupils; to reassure them about the confidentiality of the survey; to assist them in completing the questionnaire; and to collect completed questionnaires. In classes where four or more children were absent during the self-completion session, questionnaires were left with the teacher to administer upon the pupil's return to class. Instructions on how the questionnaire should be completed were left with the teacher, together with a reply paid envelope to return the questionnaires to IpsosMORI upon completion.
1.7 This survey of young people aged 11-18 was intended to complement the Scottish Household Survey ( SHS) of adults (defined as aged 16+) and it was decided that analysis in this report should be based only on 11-15 year olds (n=1,762), to guarantee no overlap with the SHS. It should also be noted, however, that the sample includes only three 11 year old pupils, making up 0.2% of the sample (one effect of fieldwork taking place during February and March is that the majority of secondary school pupils are aged 12 and over).
1.8 Where a 'not stated' category is included in the data tables, this indicates the proportion of respondents that have not given any response to the question referred to.
1.9 When coding urban/rural indicators it is not always possible to provide data for every case. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as respondent errors due to incomplete and incorrect postcodes given and partly because information does not exist for all postcodes. In this study successful matches are provided for 87% of respondents.
1.10 For the purposes of analysis, the (then) Scottish Executive's Urban Rural Classification definitions have been used to attach an urban, small town or rural classification to each respondent's data where postcode information exists. An explanation of how the classifications have been used can be found in the appendices.
1.11 The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD), constructed by the Scottish Executive, was used in analysis and the appendices provide a full explanation of how the SIMD was used.
Presentation and interpretation of the data
1.12 Throughout this report we have used the term 'young people' when referring to 11-15 year olds.
1.13 Unless otherwise stated, all differences commented on in the research findings are statistically significant.
1.14 When interpreting the findings it is important to remember that the results are only based on a sample of the Scottish secondary school population, and not on the entire school population. Consequently, results are subject to sampling tolerances, and not all differences between subgroups are therefore significant. A more detailed discussion on sampling tolerances can be found in the appendices.
1.15 Where percentages do not sum up to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of don't know/not stated categories or multiple answers. Throughout the report, an asterisk (*) denotes any value less than one half of a percent.
1.16 Data are weighted by gender, ethnicity and year group to Scottish Government annual pupil census data (2007) and by 2007 ONS output area classifications. The effect of weighting is shown in the sample profile in the appendices and in the computer tables.
1.17 It should be noted that the findings of this report are based on the self-reporting of young people, and is their perception of what, how and for how long they participate in cultural and sport activities. For example, the results showing the time spent participating in PE at school is reported by the young people themselves, and is not taken from each school's curriculum. However, as the findings are from a random sample of schools in Scotland, it is interesting that the average time reported by young people as being spent in PE classes every week is more than the '2 hours of good quality PE for each pupil every week', as recommended by the Physical Education Review Group (2004).