About LSAY

About the LSAY program

The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) track young people as they move from school into further study, work and other destinations.

It uses large, nationally representative samples of young people to collect information about education and training, work, and social development.

Survey participants (collectively known as a 'cohort') enter the study when they turn 15 years, or as was the case in earlier studies, when they were in Year 9. Individuals are contacted once a year for 10 years. Studies began in 1995 (Y95 cohort), 1998 (Y98 cohort), 2003 (Y03 cohort), 2006 (Y06 cohort) and more recently in 2009 (Y09 cohort). Since 2003, the initial survey wave has been integrated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Over 10,000 students start out in each cohort.

LSAY provides a rich source of information to help better understand young people and their transitions from school to post-school destinations, as well as exploring social outcomes, such as wellbeing.

Information collected as part of LSAY covers a wide range of school and post-school topics, including: student achievement, student aspirations, school retention, social background, attitudes to school, work experiences and what students are doing when they leave school. This includes vocational and higher education, employment, job seeking activity, and satisfaction with various aspects of their lives.

LSAY is managed and funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, with support from state and territory governments. On 1 July 2007, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) was contracted to provide analytical and reporting services for LSAY. NCVER is undertaking this service for the Department in collaboration with the Australian National University's Social Policy Evaluation, Analysis and Research Centre (SPEAR).

The LSAY data are primarily collected by computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) undertaken by the Wallis Consulting Group.

The LSAY analytical and reporting services were previously provided by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) jointly with The Department of Education (formerly DEEWR) between 1995 and 2007.

All LSAY publications can be found in the Publications section of the LSAY website.