Meet the team and get in touch

Dave Thomson
Dave ThomsonChief statistician at FFT
Dave Thomson is chief statistician at FFT with over fifteen years’ experience working with educational attainment data to raise attainment in local government, higher education and the commercial sector. His current research interests include linking education and workplace datasets to improve estimates of adult attainment and study the impact of education on employment and benefits outcomes.
Philip Nye
Philip NyeExternal affairs manager; research lead for inspection and academies
Philip is FFT Education Datalab’s external affairs manager, and a researcher on inspection, the academy system and other subjects. He leads on Datalab’s public profile, including the team’s use of visualisation. His research interests include multi-academy trusts, free schools, school finance, and Ofsted.
Natasha Plaister
Natasha PlaisterStatistician
Natasha Plaister is a statistician at FFT Education Datalab, having previously spent 10 years as a project manager at the Institute of Physics. Her interests include diversity and social mobility in education, particularly the inclusion of women in maths and science.
Laura James
Laura JamesSenior project manager
Laura James is a senior project manager at FFT Education Datalab and FFT Education, with over six years’ experience of managing large-scale data and research projects. She is currently the national project manager for TALIS (Teacher and Learning International Survey) 2018, and manages a number of projects for the Educational Endowment Foundation, Welsh Government and C2K in Northern Ireland.
Dave Bibby
Dave BibbyData scientist
Dave Bibby specialises in resolving the technical challenges inherent in maintaining and analysing large education datasets. He develops and implements methods for handling such issues as the cleaning of raw data, imputation and estimation of missing data, linking of multiple datasets and carrying out complex analysis in very large datasets.
Rebecca Allen
Rebecca AllenAssociate research fellow
Rebecca Allen is an associate research fellow, having led FFT Education Datalab from its launch in February 2015 to January 2018. She is an expert in the analysis of large scale administrative and survey datasets, including the National Pupil Database and School Workforce Census. In January 2018 she took up a position as a professor at the UCL Institute of Education, leading the Centre for Education Improvement Science.
Mike Treadaway
Mike TreadawayAssociate research fellow
Mike Treadaway is an associate research fellow at FFT Education Datalab, and was previously FFT’s director of research. A former teacher, lecturer and LA adviser, Mike has over 20 years of experience in working with education data in the context of school improvement. Since founding the FFT Data Analysis Project he has developed models for analysing pupil progress, has led the processing, matching and data analysis for the National Pupil Database, and has provided advice to the Department for Education to support the development of new school accountability indicators and analysis of national trends in school performance.
Sam Sims
Sam SimsAssociate research fellow
Sam Sims is an associate research fellow at FFT Education Datalab and a post-doctoral researcher at the UCL Institute of Education, where he completed a PhD on the economics of the teacher labour market. His research focuses on how we can better attract, train and retain teachers.
John Jerrim
John JerrimResearch associate
John Jerrim is a research associate at FFT Education Datalab and a professor of education and social statistics at UCL Institute of Education. John’s research interests include the economics of education, access to higher education, intergenerational mobility, cross-national comparisons and educational inequalities.