Professor Steve Strand

Steve Strand has been Professor of Education at the University of Oxford since January 2013.

Previously he was Professor of Education at the University of Warwick (2005-2012), Senior Assessment Consultant and Head of Research and Data Analysis at GL assessment, the UK’s leading educational test and assessment publisher (1998-2005), and Head of Research and Evaluation at Wandsworth (1990-1998) and at Croydon (1988-1990) Local Education Authorities, and in these roles was responsible for pioneering work on ‘value added’ analyses of school effectiveness. He holds a BA First Class (1982) and PhD (1989) in Psychology.

His research interests are in ethnic, social class and gender gaps in a wide range of educational outcomes (e.g. achievement, progress, special education, exclusion) and he is particularly interested in the interface between equity and school effectiveness. He has worked extensively with Government departments, Local Authorities and individual schools on the analysis of pupil achievement data and school effectiveness. His methodological expertise is in the quantitative analysis of large and complex longitudinal datasets such as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) and the National Pupil Database (NPD). He leads the Quantitative Methods (QM) hub in the Oxford Department of Education.

Steve is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and research reports (see details below). Recent research projects include: a review of socio-economic deprivation and student participation and achievement in science (Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF) & Royal Society); ethnicity, deprivation and trends in achievement for the England Department for Education (DFE); a review of English as an Additional Language and achievement for the EEF; an RCT evaluation of a maths intervention for the EEF; and a review of the educational progress of looked after children for Nuffield.

He has been Special Adviser to the House of Commons Education Select Committee Inquiry into the Underachievement in Education of White Working Class Children (2013-2014); Consultant to the England Department for Education Black Pupil’s Achievement Group (2007-2009) and Gender Agenda (2007-2008); a member of BERA Executive Council (2000-2003) and the AQA Research Committee (2010-2013). He is a member of the editorial boards of the British Educational Research Journal, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Oxford Review of Education and Research Paper in Education.

Doctoral students

Professor Strand would welcome informal contacts from prospective doctoral students interested in the following topics:

  • Equity, particularly regarding ethnicity and social class, in students educational achievement and progress at school
  • Ethnicity and social class in other students outcomes such as identification for special education, exclusion from school, continuation in education post 16, entry to Higher Education etc.
  • School effectiveness and the impact of pupils background on school performance e.g. ‘value-added’ assessment
  • Regarding all the above I am specifically interested in students wanting to engage in quantitatively based research or mixed methods research involving quantitative data


  • Strand, S (2003) Getting the Best from CAT A Practical Guide for Secondary Schools.

Book chapters

  • Strand, S (2015) “Correlation and regression”, In: Educational Research and Inquiry Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Bloomsbury Publishing. 378-403

  • Strand, S (2013) “Pupil Mobility”, In: The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Education. Routledge. 471-473

  • Strand, S (2010) “Disadvantage, ethnicity, gender and attainment”, In: White Working Class Achievement A Study of Barriers to Learning in Schools. Young Writers. 11-32

  • Strand, S, Medwell, J, Wray, D (2008) “What should we assess in primary handwriting?”, In: A Barnett (ed.) Handwriting Today. Oxford: National Handwriting Association. 23-28

  • Strand, S (2004) “The use of effect sizes: Two examples from recent educational research”, In: But what Does it Mean The Use of Effect Sizes in Educational Research. 42-54

Journal articles

  • Strand, S (2016) “Do some schools narrow the gap? Differential school effectiveness revisited”, Review of Education. 4(2) 107-144.

  • Lindsay, G, Strand, S (2016) “Children with Language Impairment: Prevalence, Associated Difficulties, and Ethnic Disproportionality in an English Population”, Frontiers in Education. 1

  • Lenkeit, J, Caro, DH, Strand, S (2015) “Tackling the remaining attainment gap between students with and without immigrant background: an investigation into the equivalence of SES constructs”, Educational Research and Evaluation. 21(1) 60-83.

  • Strand, S (2014) “Ethnicity, gender, social class and achievement gaps at age 16: intersectionality and 'getting it' for the white working class”, RESEARCH PAPERS IN EDUCATION. 29(2) 131-171.

  • Strand, S (2014) “School effects and ethnic, gender and socio-economic gaps in educational achievement at age 11”, OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION. 40(2) 223-245.

  • Strand, S (2013) “What accounts for ethnic achievement gaps in secondary schools in England?”, BERA Insights. (Issue 4)

  • Lindsay, G, Strand, S (2013) “Evaluation of the national roll-out of parenting programmes across England: the parenting early intervention programme (PEIP).”, BMC public health. 13 972+.

  • Cullen, SM, Cullen, MA, Lindsay, G, Strand, S (2013) “The parenting early intervention programme in England, 2006-2011; A classed experience?”, British Educational Research Journal. 39(6) 1025-1043.

  • Winston, J, Strand, S (2013) “Tapestry and the aesthetics of theatre in education as dialogic encounter and civil exchange”, RIDE-THE JOURNAL OF APPLIED THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE. 18(1) 62-78.

  • Strand, S (2012) “The White British-Black Caribbean achievement gap: Tests, tiers and teacher expectations”, British Educational Research Journal. 38(1) 75-101.

  • Strand, S (2011) “The limits of social class in explaining ethnic gaps in educational attainment”, British Educational Research Journal. 37(2) 197-229.

  • Lindsay, G, Strand, S, Davis, H (2011) “A comparison of the effectiveness of three parenting programmes in improving parenting skills, parent mental-well being and children's behaviour when implemented on a large scale in community settings in 18 English local authorities: the parenting early intervention pathfinder (PEIP).”, BMC public health. 11 962+.

  • Strand, S (2010) “Do some schools narrow the gap? Differential school effectiveness by ethnicity, gender, poverty, and prior achievement”, School Effectiveness and School Improvement. 21(3) 289-314.

  • Medwell, J, Strand, S, Wray, D (2009) “The links between handwriting and composing for Y6 children”, Cambridge Journal of Education. 39(3) 329-344.

  • Strand, S, Lindsay, G (2009) “Evidence of ethnic disproportionality in special education in an english population”, Journal of Special Education. 43(3) 174-190.

  • Strand, S, Winston, J (2008) “Educational aspirations in inner city schools”, Educational Studies. 34(4) 249-267.

  • Strand, S (2007) “Surveying the views of pupils attending supplementary schools in England”, Educational Research. 49(1) 1-19.

  • Lindsay, G, Dockrell, JE, Strand, S (2007) “Longitudinal patterns of behaviour problems in children with specific speech and language difficulties: child and contextual factors.”, The British journal of educational psychology. 77(Pt 4) 811-828.

  • Strand, S, Demie, F (2007) “Pupil mobility, attainment and progress in secondary school”, Educational Studies. 33(3) 313-331.

  • Deary, IJ, Strand, S, Smith, P, Fernandes, C (2007) “Intelligence and educational achievement”, Intelligence. 35(1) 13-21.

  • Strand, S, Deary, IJ, Smith, P (2006) “Sex differences in cognitive abilities test scores: a UK national picture.”, The British journal of educational psychology. 76(Pt 3) 463-480.

  • Strand, S, Demie, F (2006) “Pupil mobility, attainment and progress in primary school”, British Educational Research Journal. 32(4) 551-568.

  • Strand, S (2006) “Comparing the predictive validity of reasoning tests and national end of Key Stage 2 tests: Which tests are the 'best'?”, British Educational Research Journal. 32(2) 209-225.

  • Demie, F, Strand, S (2006) “English language acquisition and educational attainment at the end of secondary school”, Educational Studies. 32(2) 215-231.

  • Strand, S, Wright, I, Wonders, S (2005) “Estimation of Premorbid General Cognitive Abilities in Children”, Educational and Child Psychology. 22(2) 100-107.

  • Strand, S, Demie, F (2005) “English language acquisition and educational attainment at the end of primary school”, Educational Studies. 31(3) 275-291.

  • Strand, S (2004) “Consistency in reasoning test scores over time.”, The British journal of educational psychology. 74(Pt 4) 617-631.

  • Strand, S (2002) “Pupil mobility, attainment and progress during key stage 1: a study in cautious interpretation”, BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL. 28(1) 63-78.

  • Strand, S (1999) “Ethnic group, sex and economic disadvantage: Associations with pupils' educational progress from Baseline to the end of key stage 1”, British Educational Research Journal. 25(2) 179-202.

  • Schagen, I, Sainsbury, M, Strand, S (1999) “Statistical Aspects of Baseline Assessment and its Relationship to End of Key Stage One Assessment”, Oxford Review of Education. 25(3) 359-367.

  • Strand, S (1999) “Baseline assessment results at age 4: associations with pupil background factors”, Journal of Research in Reading. 22(1) 14-26.

  • Strand, S (1998) “A 'value added' analysis of the 1996 primary school performance tables”, Educational Research. 40(2) 123-137.

  • Strand, S (1997) “Key performance indicators for primary school improvement”, Educational Management Administration and Leadership. 25(2) 145-153.

  • Strand, S (1997) “Pupil progress during Key Stage 1: A value added analysis of school effects”, British Educational Research Journal. 23(4) 471-487.

  • Strand, SC (1991) “Attentional aspects of classroom behavior and discrimination learning.”, Research in developmental disabilities. 12(3) 229-241.

  • Strand, S, Sturmey, P, Newton, JT (1990) “A classroom rating scale for use with mentally handicapped children: a replication of the ADIECAS.”, The British journal of clinical psychology. 29 ( Pt 1) 121-123.

  • Strand, SC (1989) “S+ versus S- fading in teaching visual discriminations to severely mentally handicapped children.”, Journal of mental deficiency research. 33 ( Pt 4) 283-299.

  • Strand, SC, Morris, RC (1988) “Criterion-related versus non-criterion-related prompt training with severely mentally handicapped children.”, Journal of mental deficiency research. 32 ( Pt 2) 137-151.

  • Strand, SC, Morris, RC (1986) “Programmed training of visual discriminations: a comparison of techniques.”, Applied research in mental retardation. 7(2) 165-181.

  • Strand, S, Medwell, J, Wray, D “The role of handwriting in composing for Y2 children”, The Journal of Reading, Writing and Literacy. 2(1) 18-36.

Internet publication

  • Strand, S (2014) Even at best schools, kids on free school meals are performing worse than their peers. The Conversation.


  • Fletcher, J, Strand, S, Thomas, S (2015) “The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England Technical Report 1: Secondary School Progress and Attainment.”, In: The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England Technical Report 1: Secondary School Progress and Attainment.. Oxford: Oxford University Department of Education.

  • Strand, S, Malmberg, L, Hall, J (2015) English as an additional language and educational achievement in England: An analysis of the National Pupil Database. London: Educational Endowment Fund.

  • Strand, S (2015) “Ethnicity, deprivation and educational achievement at age 16 in England: Trends over time”, In: DFE Research Report 439B. London: Department for Education.

  • Sebba, JC, Berridge, D, Luke, N, Fletcher, J, Bell, K, Strand, S, Thomas, S, Sinclair, I, O’Higgins, A (2015) The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England: Linking Care and Educational Data. Oxford: Rees Centre & Bristol University.

  • Cullen, MA, Strand, S, Cullen, S, Lindsay, G (2014) CANparent Trial Evaluation: Second Interim Report. London: Department for Education.

  • Strand, S (2014) Mind the gap: An analysis of the FSM gap in Buckinghamshire County Council. Aylesbury: Buckinghamshire County Council.

  • Strand, S, Fletcher, J (2014) A Quantitative Longitudinal Analysis of Exclusions from English Secondary Schools. Oxford: University of Oxford.

  • Cullen, MA, Cullen, S, Strand, S, Bakopoulou, I, Lindsay, G, Brind, R, Pickering, E, Bryson, C, Purdon, S (2013) CANparent trial evaluation: First interim report. London: Department for Education.

  • Strand, S, Lindsay, G (2012) Ethnic disproportionality in the identification of Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD): 2005-2011. London: Department for Education.

  • Strand, S, Lindsay, G, Cullen, MA, Cullen, S, Band, S, Davis, H, Conlon, G, Barlow, J, Evans, R (2011) Parenting Early Intervention Programme evaluation: DFE-RR121A. London: DfE.

  • Strand, S, De Coulon, A, Meschi, E, Vorhaus, J, Ivins, C, Small, L, Sood, A, Gervais, MC, Rehman, H (2010) Drivers and challenges in raising the achievement of pupils from Bangladeshi, Somali and Turkish backgrounds (Research Report DCSF-RR226). London:

  • Strand, S (2010) Banging your head on the ceiling: Socio-economic factors and their relationship to differential attainment in Southwark primary schools. London: Southwark Council.

  • Strand, S, Lindsay, G, Davis, H, Cullen, MA, Band, S, Cullen, S, Davis, L, Hasluck, S, Evans, R, Stewart-Brown, S (2009) Parent Support Adviser Pilot Evaluation: Final Report. London:

  • Strand, S (2008) Minority ethnic pupils in the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England: Extension report on performance in public examinations at age 16. DCSF Research Report RR-029. London:

  • Strand, S (2007) Minority ethnic pupils in the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England. DCSF Research Report RR-002. London:

  • Strand, S, Lindsay, G, Pather, S (2006) Special educational needs and ethnicity: Issues of over- and under-representation. DfES Research Report 757.

  • Strand, S (2006) “The educational progress of African heritage pupils in Lambeth schools”, In: The achievement of African heritage pupils: Good practice in Lambeth schools. Lambeth:

  • Strand, S (2004) “Pupil mobility and educational achievement in Lambeth schools”, In: Pupil mobility in Lambeth schools: Implications for raising achievement and school management. Lambeth:


  • Strand, S (2014) Written evidence submitted to the House of Commons Education Select Committee Inquiry into the achievement of White Working Class Children.


  • Department staff

College affiliation

  • St Cross College


  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Professor of Education

Research groups

  • Quantitative Methods Hub

(01865) 611071

Publications, books and other work