Jake's research projects include grants from UKRI Economic and Social Research Council, the Nuffield Foundation and evaluations of randomised controlled trials in schools funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. There's more information on a selection of these projects below.
COVID Social Mobility & Opportunities (COSMO) study
COSMO is a longitudinal cohort study seeking to generate high-quality evidence to answer the central research question of how the COVID-19 pandemic affected socio-economic inequalities in life chances, in terms of short-term effects on educational attainment and well-being, and long-term educational and career outcomes. It will study a representative sample of young people in Year 11 across England, and follow them as they progress through their education. Existing studies have looked cross-sectionally at pupils in school at a variety of ages, however this study seeks to complement this work by harnessing the power of longitudinal research to capture a cohort experiencing the pandemic at the same stage of their development. Pupils currently in Year 11 are at a crucial stage in their education: the first point where young people take significant choices about their pathways, with long term consequences for their life trajectories. Having experienced two school years in a row of serious disruption, along with uncertainty about and ultimately cancellation of their GCSEs, they must now make these transitions with little time for schools to recover.
This project is funded by UKRI's COVID response fund and the Economic and Social Research Council, with additional support from the Sutton Trust. There's more information on the UCL website.
Private Schools in the 21st Century
Private school pupils form a relatively small proportion of the pupil population, but their influence extends far more widely. British private schooling is quite unusual in international comparison, combining both very high fees and only a low level of public subsidy through tax reliefs. From earlier studies we know that private school alumni educated in the 20th century on average achieved well in public exams and had substantially greater success in the labour market, when compared with similar pupils who attended state schools. In the last 30 years, however, the private schools have changed enormously, as has the economy. School fees have risen by around three times in real terms. There have been no comprehensive studies, however, of changes in private school participation and of the value-added delivered by modernised private schooling in the 21st century. The aim of this project is to investigate two key related aspects of the role of private schools in Britain in the 21 st century: the choice of a private school, and the association of private schooling with educational outcomes and with subsequent labour market and broader outcomes in early adulthood.
This project is funded by UKRI Economic and Social Research Council.
Learning About Culture: Five randomised controlled trials of cultural learning interventinos
UCL and the Behavioural Insights Team working in partnership were selected by the EEF to run a large multi-trial evaluation of five cultural learning interventions in English primary schools. 8,500 children in 400 state schools with a significant proportion of pupil-premium eligible students will participate in trials of five cultural learning activities, starting in September 2018. These trials represent the biggest study of its kind ever undertaken and will provide much-needed insight into both what works and how it works. We are also working closely with the RSA on their broader work to contextualise effective cultural learning activities and improve the use of evidence in this area.
This project is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and more information is available from the RSA website project page and the five evaluation pages on the EEF website: The Craft of Writing, Power of Pictures, Young Journalist Academy, Speech Bubbles, and First Thing Music.
Jake regularly contributes to Masters-level modules across the department and faculty. Students should generally find resources for these on the relevant UCL Moodle site. He also regularly supervises Master's students completing dissertations with a quantitative focus, and supervises doctoral students with a focus on educational inequality and/or evaluation making use of advanced quantitative methods. He has supervised in partnership with UCL School of Public Policy and the Behavioural Insights Team as part of the UCL/BIT PhD Scholarship programme.
- Joshua Uddin (2024, expected), principal supervisor with Dr. Rachael Levy. Thesis title: TBA.
- Emine Pehlivan (2022, expected), subsidiary supervisor with Dr. Stuart Tannock. Thesis title: TBA.
- Tom Waters (2025, expected), principal supervisor with Dr. Claire Crawford & Prof. Alex Bryson. Thesis title: TBA.
- Silvan Häs (2021, viva completed), subsidiary supervisor with Prof. John Jerrim. Thesis title: Socio-economic status and worklessness: educational investments and expectations.
Former Doctoral Students
- Eliza Kozman (2020), principal supervisor with Prof. Peter John, KCL. Thesis title: "Addressing barriers to university progression for white working-class boys". Passed with minor corrections. Now working at TASO.
- Sandra Mathers (2019), subsidiary supervisor with Prof. Iram Siraj, Oxford. Thesis title: ``Observing Language Pedagogy (OLP): Developing and piloting a contexualised video-based measure of early childhood teachers' pedagogical language knowledge''. Passed with no corrections.
- Bibi Groot (2018), subsidiary supervisor with Prof. Peter John, KCL. Thesis title: "Social support and academic success: field experiments in further education in England". Passed with no corrections. Now working at CLOO Behavioral Insights Unit.
- Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster (2018), maternity cover supervisor with Prof. Alice Sullivan and Dr. Lindsey Macmillan. Thesis title: "Stratification by field of study in Higher Education". Now working at Advance HE.
Previously, Jake has been a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, worked for the House of Commons Education Committee, and completed a PhD in Economics of Education at UCL under the supervision of Profs. Lorraine Dearden (UCL/IFS) and John Micklewright (UCL).