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Taking Part Survey

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what changes are planned for the next Taking Part survey; and what the reasons for each change are; (202331)

(2) what changes he expects to be made to the Taking Part survey in 2008-09.

The Taking Part survey is run by DCMS in partnership with four of our NDPBs—Sport England, Arts Council England, English Heritage, and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Together, we have committed to running the survey for a further three years, beginning in July 2008.

The survey enables us to understand and monitor people's engagement with DCMS sectors, and we are keen to maintain continuity with data already collected so that our knowledge builds over time. The survey methodology will therefore remain broadly similar to that of previous years, that is, continuous face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of adults aged 16 and above and children living in private households in England.

The new contract is currently being drafted and will determine the scope of the survey going forward. In response to the changing needs and strategic objectives of the survey's partners and stakeholders, our intention is to reduce the scale of the survey and revise the questions asked.

We have been interviewing around 28,000 people each year. However, this is likely to be halved as we no longer plan to measure small changes within sub-samples of the population. The reduction will also help to make cost savings.

We are also reviewing the questions that we ask respondents. Some questions will remain the same but through consultation with the survey's stakeholders and our own research and analysis we are identifying key questions that are necessary and relevant to DCMS and NDPB priorities.

The scope and questions will be finalised in the coming weeks and, following piloting, fieldwork for the new Taking Part survey will begin in July. The survey will continue to evolve throughout the contract period (2008 to 2011).