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Experiences of young people aged 15-18

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In March 2020 Wales was put into lockdown because of Coronavirus.

We wanted to find out how the lockdown was affecting all children and young people across Wales.

So we made a survey for children and young people called Coronavirus and Me.

Other people helped us to make the survey too and to tell children and young people about it:

  • The Welsh Government
  • The Welsh Youth Parliament
  • Children in Wales

Who did the survey?

Over 23,000 children and young people between 3-18 did the survey in May 2020.

4,417 of these were young people aged 15-18.

We asked all children and young people who did survey the same questions.

What did young people aged 15-18 say?

Feelings about coronavirus

28% said that they were not worried about Coronavirus on the day they took the survey.

46% said they felt the same as the week before and 16% said they felt more worried than last week.

Some young people were worried about how the virus could affect others, like their older family members. And lots worried because the future felt uncertain.

Extra responsibilities

Some young people had more responsibilities during the lockdown, like looking after their relatives.

Some looked after younger siblings because parents were working.

This showed us that young people sometimes had lots to think about when it came to balancing their responsibilities like caring, supporting others and learning.

How have young people’s lives been impacted by Coronavirus?

71% said not being able to spend time with friends, followed by not being able to visit family members (53%) and school or college closing (50%) were having the biggest impact.

Happy, healthy, safe

74% of young people aged 15-18 felt safe most of the time, and 41% said they were happy most of the time.

But 45% said they had been worried some of the time and 46% felt sad some of the time.

19% said they had felt worried most of the time, and 21% said they felt sad most of the time.

14% said they had not been happy very often.

The majority of young people said they would get help online or on social media (53%), from teachers or other school/college/university staff (51%) or their doctor (51%).

Learning

21% did not feel confident at all in their learning, 26% were not confident; 21% were confident and 7% very confident.

72% were worried about how their exam results would be affected, and 52% were worried about falling behind with learning.

51% said they did not feel motivated to do school work at home.

How did young people in school feel?

Lots of young people understood why school buildings had closed but many felt frustrated, and that they had lost control of their learning.

Some young people were enjoying learning from home.

24% said they did not understand the work they had been sent.

35% were worried about starting a new year or course in September.

When we asked young people if there was anything they needed help with, 24% said that they would like more support to go online to do school work.

How did young people in school feel about exams being cancelled?

This survey took place several months before the controversial exam results in August, but many young people were already uncertain or anxious about the results after exams were cancelled.

51% said they felt uncertain, 17% felt worried and 16% happy.

Some young people were feeling that there was less pressure on them to revise and sit exams, but many also felt a sense of loss of control over their final grades and were finding it difficult to stay motivated with learning when there was such uncertainty over their exams.

How did young people who were home schooled feel?

Six (21%) told us they would like more help to go online to do their work. Young people told us of their mixed views on the situation with their learning and the impact Coronavirus was having on their lives. Some were concerned how Coronavirus could affect exam results and were concerned about falling behind.