Sean is a quantitative social scientist and lecturer in sociological research methods. In recent years most of Sean's time has been taken up by research within CEIR where Sean has been methodological director on a number of projects and leads on all statistical strands of research.
Sean also teaches social statistics to sociologists and other social science students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
His key research interest is to statistically map social bias within the English education system, and he leads on the design, direction and analyses of evaluation research projects centred on experimental (Randomised Controlled Trial) and quasi-experimental methodologies.
Sean is interested in the critical application of quantitative methods and is currently developing a doctrine of 'quantitative critical race theory' around good (and bad) practice in statistics to examine the relationship between ethnicity and education.
Educational inequality, Secondary data analysis, randomised controlled trials, design and analysis of surveys, creative EDA, critical quantitative enquiry.
Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Social Sciences and Humanities
Race, Racism and Education: inequality, resilience and reform in policy & practice - mixed methods 20 year review of the relationship between race, ethnicity & education (Funded by the Society for Educational Studies 2013 Award - see www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/education/projects/race-racism-and-education.aspx
Nuffield Funded 'Dreams & Realities in University Access in England' - see www.nuffieldfoundation.org/how-do-social-differences-affect-he-aspirations-and-participation
Quantitative Research Methods
BA Sociology, MRes Research Methods
Undergraduate: Applied Research Methods (2nd year - mixed methods project); Dissertation; Advanced Research Methods, Education, Schooling & Society
International Undergraduate - European Studies degree (joint degree SHU & the Hague) Postgrad: Survey Methods 2 (intro to analyses) & 3 (statistical modelling)
- Centre for Education and Inclusion Research
Responsible for the design & analyses of the quantitative strands for
ThinkForward Pilot RCT ( EEF; £62K funding; 2013-16)
Evaluation of the Further Maths (A level) Support Project (FMSP) ( MEI; £95K funding; 2014-16) RCT-influenced evaluation of the Shanghai teacher exchange (DfE; £247K funding; 2014-17)
RCT centred evaluation of SCRATCH programming (EEF; £109K; 2014-17) Improving the impact of teaching assistants: Process and implementation evaluation (EEF; £63K funding; 2015-17)
‘Improving Talk for Teaching and Learning Evaluation ( EEF; £63K; 2014-17) Jigsaw PSHE Evaluation (Jan Lever Consultancy, £15K; 2015-16)
Boylan, M., Demack, S., Willis, B., Stevens, A., Adams, G. & Verrier, D. (2015) Multiplicative Reasoning Professional Development Programme: Evaluation. DfE Research Briefing 406 RB406 - main report here, technical report (with full analyses) here.
Maxwell, B., Connolly, P., Demack, S., O'Hare, L., Stevens, A. & Shipton, L. (2014). Summer Active Reading Programme: Evaluation Report & Executive Summary.
Maxwell, B., Connolly, P., Demack, S., O'Hare, L., Stevens, A. & Shipton, L. (2014). Unitas TextNow RCT Peer Reviewed Evaluation Research Report
Jeffery, B., Demack, S., Barley, R. (2014) ‘Being an AL isn’t a choice, it doesn’t fit a lifestyle, this is a myth, we need to work and this is the best we are offered sometimes’: A Report on Hourly Paid Contracts at Sheffield Hallam University. Research Report.
Formby, E, Coldwell M, Stiell B, Demack S, Stevens A, Shipton L, Wolstenholme C, Willis B (2011) Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education: A mapping study of the prevalent models of delivery and their effectiveness for Department for Education
Demack, S., Stevens, A. & McCaig, C. (2012) Dreams and realities in university access: mapping social differences in higher education aspirations and participation in England. Final report for a Nuffield Foundation funded research project plus a non-technical version.
Demack, S, Platts-Fowler, D, Robinson, D, Stevens, A, Wilson, I (2010) Young People and Community Cohesion - Analysis from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) DFE research report (DFE-RR033)
Coldron J, Tanner E, Finch S, Shipton L, Wolstenholme C, Willis B, Demack S, Stiell B (2008) Secondary School Admissions. Sheffield Hallam University with National Centre for Social Research (Report DCSF-RR020)
Sean has recently worked with colleagues at Queens Belfast; Essex university; Durham University; Oxford University; Cambridge University and Toronto University
Select Committee contribution, 2014 - see GREAT BRITAIN, House of Commons Education Committee (2014) Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children. First Report of Session 2013-14 available at
Gillborn, D. & Demack, S. (2013) The Still moving right show: tackling justice whilst widening gaps. Race Equality Teaching 13(1) pp4-10
Pinder, J., Price, I., Wilkinson, S.J., & Demack, S. (2002) A method for evaluating workspace utility. Property Management 21(4) pp218-229
Demack, S. (2000) Modelling the gap(s): social class, ethnicity and gender variations in GCSE attainment 1988-95. Presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference at Cardiff University on 7th September 2000.
Demack, S., Drew, D. & Grimsley, M. (2000) Minding the gap: ethnic, gender and social class differences in attainment 1988-95. Race, Ethnicity and Education 3(2) pp117-143.
Contributions of statistics & graphics in Gillborn, D. & Mirza, H.S. (2000) Educational Inequality: Mapping Race, Class and Gender. HMSO, OFSTED
Demack, S., Drew, D. & Grimsley, M. (1999) Subjective educational stratification in Britain at the end of the 20th century: Socio-economic, ethnic and gender differences in Mathematics and English attainment 1988-95. Presented at the International Sociological Association (ISA - RC28) conference at Madison University, Wisconsin, USA on 12th August 1999.
Demack, S., Drew, D. & Grimsley, M. (1998) Myths about underachievement: Gender, Social Class and Ethnicity differences in GCSE results 1988-93 . Presented at BERA 1998 at Belfast University 30/8/98.
Drew, D. & Demack, S. (1997) A league apart; Statistics in the study of race and education in Connolly, P. & Troyna, B. (1997) Researching Race in Education: Politics, Theory & Practice Open University Press
Amin, K, Drew, D., Fosam, B., Gillborn, D. & Demack, S. (1997) Black and Ethnic Minority Young People and Educational Disadvantage. Runnymede Trust Report. Available here.
Peer reviewer for the Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF); Editorial Board of Race, Ethnicity& Education since 2011; Peer reviewer for the European Sociology