About Rebecca

I am Director of Education Datalab, a research organisation that uses large scale administrative and survey datasets to support policy makers and those working with schools. We are part of FFT, a non-profit company with a long history of working with schools data in England and Wales. Visit our website to learn more about our mission and activities.

I spend a lot of time talking to people involved in running our schools. When I’m sitting at my computer I am usually analysing large quantitative datasets. These often contain administrative information collected from schools about pupils, teachers and money, such as the National Pupil Database or the School Workforce Census. They sometimes include information collected in large surveys, such as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England or the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey. Every so often I run a survey myself to supplement these large datasets.

I believe that it is possible to create a fairer and more effective education system through applied education policy research. There is so much variation in the experiences of children, families and teachers across England in our current system. By careful exploration of how these different experiences affects life chances for children and career choices for teachers, it should be possible to adapt policies to achieve society’s goals.

You can get an idea of my research interests by taking a look at the publications page. They fall into two major areas:

  1. Holding the school accountability system to account. I have written extensively on how we do and we should measure school performance, including the unintended consequences of the metrics we use. I also research school inspections, school admission policies and parental choice, competition between schools and school expenditure decisions.
  2. Creating a teacher career worth having. I am particularly interested in the early career paths of teachers and how these are affected by their experiences during training and first job posts. In the past I have written about career pathways into senior leadership in schools.