DfE Collaboration

Evaluation of Subject Excellence Clusters

This randomised controlled trial (RCT) has been commissioned by the Department for Education.  It aims to learn whether clusters of Heads of Department in secondary schools are able to use detailed information on their exam entry profile and GCSE performance to aid school departmental planning decisions.

Rather than providing this information relative to national or local averages or using complex value added measures, we allow a department to compare their own data to that of five other local schools with a similar demographic profile.

We aim to present the data in a manner that is intelligible to an untrained eye, whilst maintaining fair and valid performance comparisons across similar schools.


Research Team:  Dave Thomson (Project Lead, Fischer Family Trust), Dr Rebecca Allen (Institute of Education),  Professor Simon Burgess ( CMPO)

Funder:  Department for Education

Timescale: Awarded Spring 2013; full implementation September 2013 – July 2014 (1 year); analysis stage: August – December 2014.

Stage:  Implementation