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.

No need to recruit headteachers with particular subject backgrounds

Last year the world of educational leadership research was rocked by a study, summarised in two Harvard Business Review articles (here and here), that introduced to the world the idea of ‘Surgeon’ and ‘Architect’ headteachers, among other types. The findings, if more generally true, would radically re-shape the advice we should give governing bodies about [...]

By | 2017-04-21T22:10:14+00:00 January 13th, 2017|School improvement, Teacher careers|

KS2 performance tables 2016: Primary schools in the North East are pulling away from the pack

A decade ago, the proportion of 11-year-olds reaching expected standards did not vary much across the regions - except for a little place with an unfixable education system called Inner London. The lines in blue on the chart below show that most regions had just over 70% of pupils meeting the expected standard at that [...]

By | 2016-12-15T13:08:34+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Education Datalab’s view on primary assessment

We recently submitted evidence to the Education Select Committee, as part of their inquiry into primary assessment. What follows is the text of our submission. A PDF copy of the submission can be found here. The role of statutory assessment in primary schools Assessment plays numerous roles in primary education. Statutory assessment should, as a minimum, ensure [...]

By | 2016-12-14T08:02:13+00:00 December 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment|

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 | 2017-04-21T22:18:10+00:00 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 | 2017-04-21T22:27:17+00:00 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 | 2016-12-07T12:55:03+00:00 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 | 2016-12-07T12:55:03+00:00 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 | 2016-12-07T12:55:05+00:00 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 | 2016-12-07T12:55:06+00:00 October 13th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|