Five to Twelve

Welcome to Five to Twelve, an important new research study which follows children, and their families, through their years at primary school. This research study will explore the experiences of children in school and at home, and help shape improvements in schools and other services for families and children.

On this website, you can find more information about the study, including what the study involves, what to expect next, answers to common queries, and contact details if you need our support.

Image of a family

About the study 

Five to Twelve is a national study of around 8,200 children attending primary school in England in the 2020s. The study has been commissioned and funded by the Department for Education (DfE). By following the same group of children and their families for a number of years, the study aims to understand how children’s school, home life and relationships shape their future education, development and outcomes. As such, we intend to speak to families each year as their children move through primary school, and possibly beyond.

The study is being carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), the largest independent social research organisation in Britain. We work in collaboration with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) as well as an advisory group of academics.    

Please see the Taking Part and Frequently Asked Questions pages for details on what’s involved.

Related studies

Five to Twelve is part of an exciting series of national studies funded by the Department for Education (DfE), about different stages of childhood and adolescence, from birth through to young adulthood. By following children and their families over time, the studies aim to understand how children’s experiences throughout their early years, primary school and secondary school impact their experiences and outcomes as they grow older.

Children of the 2020s

Children of the 2020s is a national research study focusing on the development of children born in the 2020s as they go through the early years of their lives, before they begin attending school. For more information, visit their website CLS | Children of the 2020s Study (

Growing up in the 2020s

Growing up in the 2020s is a national research study following children attending secondary school in the 2020s. For more information, visit the project website