Jamie is a first-year DPhil candidate in Education, funded by an ESRC Grand Union DTP studentship.

Jamie’s research is using data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) to explore how item difficulty estimates can be predicted by their mathematical content, the higher-level reasoning processes required by the item, as well as by linguistic factors. His work is making use of Rasch-based modelling techniques.

Prior to joining OUCEA, Jamie completed his undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology, and his MSc in Education, both at the University of Oxford. He also has worked in primary and secondary schools in Oxford, in both teaching and assessment-based roles. Since joining OUCEA, Jamie has worked as a research assistant on a variety of projects, most notably as a co-author of England’s PIRLS 2016 report, and currently on OUCEA’s delivery of both PIRLS 2021 and PISA 2022. He has also taught on the MSc in Educational Assessment, and worked as the editorial officer for the journal Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice.

Title of Thesis

Psychometric modelling of item difficulty in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study


Stiff, J., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T.N., Kayton, H. and McGrane, J.A. (2023) Research engagement in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study: A systematic review. Educational Research Review, 40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2023.100547

McGrane, J., Stiff, J., Baird, J., Lenkeit, J., & Hopfenbeck, T. (2017). Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS): National report for EnglandLondon: Department for Education.

Double, K.S., McGrane, J.A., Stiff, J.C., & Hopfenbeck, T.N. (2019). The importance of early phonics improvements for predicting later reading comprehension. British Educational Research Journal, 45,6, p.1220-1234: https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3559