No Filter – A Survey of Children’s Experience of the Covid-19 Pandemic

No Filter – A survey of children’s experience of the Covid-19 pandemic was carried out by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) in conjunction with Amárach Research. No Filter was an online survey open to children between the ages of 9-17 years in Ireland. A small number of students aged 18 and over who are still in school also completed the survey.

In order to protect the integrity of the process and to ensure that children themselves were taking part, the survey was carried out through schools. Sixty schools from across the country were invited to take part; based on regional spread, deis, non-deis, gaelscoileanna and private schools, and divided into primary and post-primary schools. Interested schools were invited to apply through social media and the survey was also shared with the OCO Youth Advisory Panel. The questions included in the survey were drafted based on common issues that were raised with the OCO and in the media. Every effort was made to ensure that questions were simply phrased and understandable to all age groups, and to ensure that children were not led or encouraged to opt for any particular outcome. The survey was piloted in a primary and post-primary classroom in Dublin. Based on the feedback, questions were reviewed and updated before general distribution.

No Filter was launched online between 1st and 15th February 2022, running for two weeks. The survey was shared with schools via an individual URL. Consent from parents and assent from the children themselves was sought and secured. Children’s participation was anonymous and voluntary. Children were informed about the survey by their teacher and principals in class, and a video from the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon was shared with every school