Ian Widdows

Information School

PhD researcher

Ian WIddows
Profile picture of Ian WIddows

Full contact details

Ian Widdows
Information School
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

I have had a 28 year career working in secondary schools, teaching science, physics and psychology to 11-19 year olds. My career included 14 years of senior school leadership, including 6 years as a headteacher and representation on numerous local, regional and national bodies.

In 2020 I decided to have a change of direction and went to university in Lincoln to complete a MSc in Physics. In 2021 I began a four year programme, starting with a MA in Social Research, working towards a PhD. The research areas I have chosen combines my interest in addressing inequalities and perceived biases in the use of data related to schools with the use of advanced quantification techniques.

I like to keep physically active and enjoy walking and cycling wherever possible. I have been vegan for 35 years and I am a keen chef. I am a member of a Border Morris side and perform at various events and festivals throughout the year.

PhD project

Title: "Secondary school accountability measures in England - their effectiveness, effects and an exploration of alternative approaches."

My research will use a mixed methods approach to explore the use and effects of school accountability measures. This will use panels of professionals working in various aspects of the secondary school system in England as well as statistical and computational approaches to data. My research will aim to build upon the work which critiques the use of school accountability measures but also to extend this by providing suggestions for. alternative approaches. In doing this it is my intention to provide deep, detailed research which has the potential to influence policy.


Funding and awards

ESRC funded through the WRDTP

Research interests
  • Education policy, data analysis and statistics
  • Critical Data Studies
  • AI/Machine Learning/NLP in providing novel approaches to public data
  • Social Research, inequalities and injustice arising from the use of algorithms