IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE appoints Director for new Centre for Education Improvement Science

13 November 2017

Student in class

Professor Becky Allen returns to the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) as Director of the new Centre for Education Improvement Science (CEIS).

Currently Director of Education Datalab, Professor Allen is an expert in the analysis of large scale administrative and survey datasets. Her research explores the impact of government reforms on school behaviour, with a particular focus on accountability and teacher labour markets. Prior to setting up Education Datalab, Becky was Reader in Economics of Education at the IOE.

Becky Allen

The CEIS will draw expertise from across UCL, from laboratory experiments to classroom observation research, to develop our scientific understanding of education. Through this research, it will help school leaders, teachers, parents and policy makers improve how schools are run, teachers are developed and children learn. Just as 'improvement science' is being used to improve the quality of healthcare and the performance of the health service, the new centre will develop and adapt this approach to the education sector.

This investment represents a key element of the IOE's strategy, further strengthening its mission to improve lives through education and serve as a 'go to' resource for policy makers and practitioners nationally and internationally.

Speaking of her appointment, Professor Allen said:

"I am delighted to be returning to UCL Institute of Education after a three-year break to lead this ambitious new Centre, and am excited to have this opportunity to work with academics across UCL to develop and build a firmer scientific basis for education policy and practice. Building on my work at Education Datalab, I hope this new research centre can support school leaders and teachers across the globe in the work they do."

Speaking of the centre, Professor Becky Francis, IOE Director, said:

"I am tremendously excited that Becky Allen will lead this new centre, which is envisaged as a cornerstone of the IOE's work and ambition. New opportunities are opening up through emerging fields of science to build better education systems. I want the IOE to be at the forefront of understanding the challenges that education faces and in providing their solutions. The centre will achieve this by adopting an 'improvement science' approach and through the robust evidence and methodology it develops. Equally importantly, it will support capacity building in the field through new researcher posts and doctoral studentships."

The work of the CEIS will launch January 2018.

Media contact

Rowan Walker
+44 (0)20 3108 8516