Oct
2020

What the A Level Grade Scandal Can Show Us about Algorithmic Bias

There are lots of ways in which artificial intelligence can be unfair in its decision making. In this blog we discuss this so-called "algorithmic bias", motivated by a particularly visible example that recently made the news - when UK A level grades were calculated using an algorithm since students were unable to sit exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

read more
Nov
2019

Do School Performance Tables Really Measure School Performance?

Research published recently by the University of Bristol shows that analysis of school performance results change when pupils' background characteristics are taken into account. Commenting on the study, the Northern Powerhouse says that "league tables punish and reward the wrong schools". This study supports our findings from a previous blog, but also illustrates the importance of carefully considering what is included in a statistical model.

read more
Jun
2019

Novel Educational Research using Longitudinal Survey Data

A recent article in the Guardian newspaper reports on a study published last month that looks at parents' responses to news from the Ofsted inspection of their child's school. Aside from the eye-catching headline, we found a number of aspects of this study interesting.

read more
Sep
2018

Debunking the Myth of a North/South Divide in GCSE Performance

A recent article in the Guardian newspaper reports new research highlighting that disadvantage is the main factor affecting student outcomes. Not only does this concur with our results from a recent blog, but it highlights how important both the type of analysis conducted and the clarity of reporting is to enable others to evaluate the often conflicting findings based on data.

read more
Jan
2016

Mapping and Analysing GCSE Performance Data

A recent BBC article discussed an apparent north-south divide in GCSE attainment. We've investigated these data in more detail to find out whether there is statistical evidence of this divide and whether it has changed over time.

read more