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The surveys focus on the education and labour market experiences of groups of young Australians, beginning from their middle years of secondary schooling. Data collected include basic demographic variables, as well as information about educational and labour force participation and experiences extending over a number of years. The present form of the LSAY program commenced in 1995 with a national sample of Year 9 students. The program also brings together earlier longitudinal studies conducted by ACER under the Youth in Transition (YIT) program, and by the Commonwealth under the Australian Longitudinal Survey (ALS) and Australian Youth Survey (AYS) programs. The data collected through LSAY are deposited with the Social Science Data Archives (SSDA) for use by other researchers. In 1995, a nationally representative sample of approximately 13,000 Year 9 students was selected to form the first cohort of the new Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth program. The same design was intended to provide a sample of approximately 10,000 young people to be interviewed by telephone in late 1997. The major stratum considered in the design was state of schooling. Students from smaller states were over-sampled and, correspondingly, students from larger states were under-sampled. Selection of students within states was proportional by sector. Three sectors were used as strata: government schools, Catholic Schools and non-government, non-Catholic (referred to as independent) schools. Within strata, schools were selected proportional to their size, with an implicit stratification by geography because of the postcode-order of the sampling frame. The sample was constructed by randomly selecting two Year 9 classes from a national sample of 300 schools designed to represent state and sector. Reading and numeracy tests were administered to students in their schools to provide information on early school achievement for use in later analyses of educational and labour market participation. Students also completed a background questionnaire about their educational and vocational plans and attitudes to school. The survey form used for the background questionnaire is included as Appendix 1 in this report.