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Sean Demack

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.


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

College of Social Sciences and Arts

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)


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


Journal articles

Demack, S. (2021). The Statistics of Pupil Segregation in England. Radical Statistics, 129 (129), 45-69.

Boylan, M., Maxwell, B., Wolstenholme, C., Jay, T., & Demack, S. (2018). The mathematics teacher exchange and 'mastery' in England: The evidence for the efficacy of component practices. Education sciences, 8 (4), 202.

Boylan, M., Adams, G., Coldwell, M., Willis, B., & Demack, S. (2018). Context and Implications Document for: Theorising variation in engagement in professional and curriculum development: Performativity, capital, systems and purpose. Review of Education, 6 (3), 408-410.

Boylan, M., Adams, G., Willis, B., Coldwell, M., & Demack, S. (2018). Theorising variation in engagement in professional and curriculum development: performativity, capital, systems and purpose. Review of Education, 6 (3), 360-407.

Boylan, M., & Demack, S. (2018). Innovation, evaluation design and typologies of professional learning. Educational Research, 60 (3), 336-356.

Gillborn, D., Demack, S., Rollock, N., & Warmington, P. (2017). Moving the goalposts: Education policy and 25 years of the Black/White achievement gap. British Educational Research Journal, 43 (5), 848-874.

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.

Warmington, P., Gillborn, D., Rollock, N., & Demack, S. (2017). “They can’t handle the race agenda”: stakeholders’ reflections on race and education policy, 1993–2013. Educational Review, 70 (4), 409-426.

Hawley-Hague, H., Horne, M., Campbell, M., Demack, S., Skelton, D.A., & Todd, C. (2014). Multiple levels of influence on older adults' attendance and adherence to community exercise classes. The Gerontologist, 54 (4), 599-610.

Dahlberg, L., Demack, S., & Bambra, C. (2007). Age and gender of informal carers: a population -based study in the UK. Health and social care in the community, 15 (5), 439-445.

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.

Pinder, J., Price, I., Wilkinson, S.J., & Demack, S. (2003). A method for evaluating workplace utility. Property management, 21 (4), 218-229.

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), 117-143.

Book chapters

Demack, S., Crawford, C., Gillborn, D., & Warmington, P. (2018). Using Numbers for Social Justice (Or, How Not to be Lied to with Statistics). In Understanding Critical Race Research Methods and Methodologies Lessons from the Field. (First). Routledge

Crawford, C.E., Demack, S., Gillborn, D., & Warmington, P. (2018). Quants and Crits. In Understanding Critical Race Research Methods and Methodologies. (pp. 125-137). Routledge:


Demack, S., Maxwell, B., Coldwell, M., Stevens, A., Wolstenholme, C., Reaney, S., ... Lortie-Fortes, H. (2021). Review of EEF Projects. Education Endowment Foundation.

Maxwell, B., Stevens, A., Demack, S., Coldwell, M., Wolstenholme, C., Reaney-Wood, S., ... Lortie-Forgues, H. (2021). EEF Implementation and Process Evaluation (IPE) quality pilot. Education Endowment Foundation.

Maxwell, B., Stiell, B., Stevens, A., Demack, S., Coldwell, M., Wolstenholme, C., ... Lortie-Forgues, H. (2021). Scale-up of EEF efficacy to effectiveness trials. Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

Culliney, M., Moore, N., Coldwell, M., & Demack, S. (2019). Integrating English: Evaluation Report. Education Endowment Foundation.

Maxwell, B., Willis, B., Culliney, M., Coldwell, M., Demack, S., Goepel, J., & Stevens, A. (2019). Formative evaluation of the South & West Yorkshire teaching assistants scale-up campaign. Education Endowment Foundation.

Demack, S. (2019). Does the classroom level matter in the design of educational trials? A theoretical & empirical review. Education Endowment Foundation.

Demack, S., Reaney-Wood, S., Adams, G., Stiell, B., & Culliney, M. (2019). Participation and Attainment in A level Mathematics & FurtherMathematics.

Boylan, M., Wolstenholme, C., Maxwell, B., Demack, S., Jay, T., Reaney, S., & Adams, G. (2019). Longitudinal evaluation of the Mathematics Teacher Exchange: China-England - Final Report. Department for Education.

Boylan, M., Demack, S., Wolstenholme, C., Reidy, J., & Reaney, S. (2018). ScratchMaths: evaluation report and executive summary. Education Endownment Foundation.

Stevenson, J., Demack, S., Stiell, B., Abdi, M., Ghaffar, F., & Hassan, S. (2017). The social mobility challenges faced by young muslims. London: Social Mobility Commission.

Boylan, M., Demack, S., Stevens, A., Coldwell, M., & Stiell, B. (2016). An Evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme : Research Report. Sheffield Hallam University.

Boylan, M., Demack, S., Willis, B., Stevens, A., Adams, G., & Verrier, D. (2015). Multiplicative reasoning professional development programme : evaluation. London: Department for Education.

Maxwell, B., Burnett, C., Reidy, J., Willis, B., & Demack, S. (2015). Oracy curriculum, culture and assessment toolkit. London: Education Endowment Foundation.

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

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.

Formby, E., Coldwell, M., Stiell, B., Demack, S., Stevens, A., Shipton, L., ... Willis, B. (2011). Personal, social, healthand economic (PSHE)education: A mappingstudy of the prevalentmodels of delivery andtheir effectiveness. London: Department for Education.

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). Sheffield Hallam University.

Theses / Dissertations

Marshall, N.R. (2019). Whose interests? Gaming, School Type, Social Justice and Pupils’ Post-16 Access. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Demack, S.

Internet Publications

Demack, S. (2019). Working under the (data) clampdown.

Other publications

Demack, S., Gillborn, D., Bhopal, K., Crawford, C., Gholami, R., Kitching, K., ... Warmington, P. (2021). Evidence for the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. Centre for Research in Race and Education:

Demack, S. (2020). A Convenient Paradox? Statistics and white advantage in UK degree attainment. British Educational Research Association Research Intelligence Mag:

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:

Coldron, J.H., Stephenson, K., Williams, J., Shipton, L., & Demack, S. (2002). Admission appeal panels: research study into the operation of appeal panels' use of the code of practice and training for panel. London: Department for Education and Skills:

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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