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Sean Demack

Senior Lecturer


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.

  • About

    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.

  • Teaching

    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

    Nuffield Funded 'Dreams & Realities in University Access in England' - see

    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)

  • Research

    • 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

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Gilbourn, D., Warmington, P., & Demack, S. (2017). QuantCrit: education, policy, ‘Big Data’ and principles for a critical race theory of statistics. Race, Ethnicity and Education.

    Doole, I., Grimes, T., & Demack, S. (2006). An exploration of the management practices and processes most closely associated with high levels of export capability in SMEs. Marketing intelligence and planning, 24 (6), 632-647.

    Demack, S., Drew, D., & Grimsley, M. (2000). Minding the Gap: Ethnic, gender and social class differences in attainment at 16, 1988-95. Race Ethnicity and Education, 3 (2).


    Maxwell, B., Connolly, P., Demack, S., O'Hare, L., Stevens, A., Clague, L., & Stiell, B. (2014). TextNow Transition Programme : evaluation report and executive summary. London: Education Endowment Foundation.

    Other publications

    Coldron, J.H., Tanner, E., Finch, S., Shipton, L., Wolstenholme, C., Willis, B., ... Stiell, B. (2008). Secondary school admissions. London: Department for Children, Schools and Families:

  • Other activities

    Peer reviewer for the Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF); Editorial Board of Race, Ethnicity& Education since 2011; Peer reviewer for the European Sociology

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