About Rebecca Allen

Rebecca Allen is Director of Education Datalab and an expert in the analysis of large scale administrative and survey datasets, including the National Pupil Database and School Workforce Census. Her research explores the impact of government reforms on school behaviour, with a particular focus on accountability and teacher labour markets. She is currently on leave from her academic post as Reader in Economics of Education at UCL Institute of Education.

Primary assessment inquiry – Education Datalab submission

Education Datalab recently contributed evidence to the Education Select Committee's inquiry into primary assessment. Among the points made by Datalab are that: using assessment for curriculum compliance must be done with care; we need a reliable age five baseline assessment; teacher assessment should not be used in statutory assessment; a simpler floor standard would be fairer and [...]

By | December 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Reports|

Social and ethnic inequalities in choice available and choices made at age 16

This morning the Social Mobility Commission published our research examining the choice of courses and institution made by students at age 16. We could see there were differences in the choices made by social background, ethnicity and gender of the student and wanted to measure the extent to which these arose through differences in: GCSE [...]

By | December 5th, 2016|Admissions, Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics, Reports|

Ethnic minority groups are great at passing the 11-plus

There are striking differences in the propensity of different ethnic groups to gain access to grammar schools. If we look at high achieving eleven-year-olds in the four fully selective local authorities of Kent, Medway, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire, just 29 per cent of the white British pupils who achieved a fine grade score of 5.0 on [...]

By | November 7th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

When is a comprehensive school actually a secondary modern?

The National Association of Secondary Moderns might soon be growing its membership. By how much? It is hard to say, not least because not all non-grammar schools in selective areas choose to call themselves secondary moderns (just 117 do). Also, there are schools outside selective areas that are heavily affected by the presence of a [...]

By | November 2nd, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Provisional KS4 data 2016: Grammar schools reporting fantastic Progress 8 scores? Not so fast…

Today’s provisional Key Stage 4 data shows a strong Progress 8 performance from grammar schools, and a negative Progress 8 score for those calling themselves secondary moderns. But the positive results of the grammars seem to more than outweigh the negative results of secondary moderns. So, should we use this data to claim that selection [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability, Structures|

Provisional KS4 data 2016: Superstars and under the bars

Today will be a day of celebration for some schools, and concern for others, as the new Progress 8 performance measure re-sorts schools into piles. Some who did very well on the old 5 A*-C measure will find they are struggling under a progress measure that does not reward them simply for recruiting a high [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Progress 8 is too favourable to grammar schools and understates secondary modern achievement

Progress 8 is the new measure by which secondary schools will be judged. It works by comparing each child’s achievement in eight subjects at GCSE with the average GCSE results for other children who got the same results in exams taken at age 11. The Department for Education designed it to incentivise schools to provide a [...]

By | September 16th, 2016|Admissions|

Grammar schools: four key research points

1. Academic selection creates winners and losers Children who attend grammar schools make more progress than they otherwise would, while children who attend non-selective schools in selective areas (secondary moderns) make less progress than they otherwise would. In any selective area, a majority of children will attend non-selective schools – the gains of those who [...]

By | September 14th, 2016|Admissions|

There is not yet a proven route to help disadvantaged pupils into grammar schools

Sections of the Tory party seem determined to open new grammar schools, or at least to expand provision at existing grammar schools. One condition of grammar expansion is likely to be that they make a greater effort to ensure that children from low income families can secure places. A minority of the existing 163 grammar [...]

By | September 8th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|