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Karen Jones

Assistant Professor


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor in the School of EducationCA103 
Fellow in the Durham Research Methods Centre  
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing  


Karen Jones is Assistant Professor (Research) at the School of Education. Following her degree in mathematics Karen qualified as a secondary mathematics teacher (QTS) and a careers advisor. After several years working in a wide range of schools and colleges Karen joined the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) in 2004 and then the School of Education in 2017. With over 14 years of research experience at Durham University, Karen specialises in quasi-experimental designs, mixed-methods research, assessment and the analysis of large secondary datasets. Karen is interested in a wide range of research areas including the effects and side-effects of school inspections and accountability systems (the subject of her ongoing PhD thesis), progress in mathematics, measuring student attitudes and the impact of grammar schools and independent schools. She is currently investigating the impact of bursaries on university student outcomes.

Other commitments in the department and the university include Durham University and College Union (DUCU) committee member, DUCU case worker, DUCU department rep, School of Education ethics committee member. Karen also supervises MA and MSc students.


Research interests

  • Value added and school effectiveness
  • School inspections and accountability
  • Assessment
  • Quasi-experimental designs
  • secondary data analysis

Research Projects

  • Girls Into Physics: Parent And Carer Project (Phase I)
  • Low Attainment in Mathematics an Investigation Focussing on Year Nine Students in England (IMAP)

Awarded Grants

  • 2019: Girls Into Physics: Parent And Carer Project (Phase I)(£11600.00 from Institute of Physics)
  • 2010: An Evaluation of the STAR programme(£103318.00 from The Sutton Trust)
  • 2010: Evaluations of National Ratings(£8923.00 from Scottish Qualifications Authority)

Esteem Indicators

  • 2014: Invited key note speaker : Expert Workshop on School Inspection in Berlin (SteBis – Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany)
  • 2014: Invited key note speaker : Standing International Conference of national and regional Inspectorates of education (SICI) international conference in Dresden
  • 0000: 2022: Invited member of Advisory board fort the 'Face-IT' project pilot looking the the impact of mask wearing on virus transmission (Nottingham University):
  • 0000: Member of the DfE Associate Pool: Accepted as having expertise in the following areas:
    • quantitative research and secondary analysis
    • qualitative research
    • evaluation
    • literature reviews/rapid evidence reviews
    • dissemination


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Jones, K., Tymms, P., Kemethofer, D., O'Hara, J., McNamara, G., Huber, S., Myberg, E., Skedsmo, G. & Gregger, D. (2014), The unintended consequences of school inspection: the prevalence of inspection side-effects in Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, 43: EES conference. Dublin, October 2014, Taylor & Francis Online, 805-822.
  • Tymms, P. & Jones, K. (2014), The unintended effects of school inspection: evidence from an EU comparative study, ISI-TL Symposium: The changing face of school inspections; theories and practices. Gothenburg, Sweden, 3-4 June 2014.
  • Jones, K., Tymms, P. Kemethofer, D., O’Hara, J., Skedsmo, G., Myrberg, E. & Huber, S. (2014), The Unintended Effects of School Inspection, EES. Dublin, Ireland.

Journal Article


  • Jones, K. (2020). Parents and Carers Project: Survey report. Institute of Physics.
  • Jones, K. (2020). Alternative models to the recommended models from Office for Students to investigate the Impact of Durham Grant Scheme. Durham University.
  • Jones, K. (2019). A-level achievement as a predictor of degree achievement (2012-2018). Durham University.
  • Jones, K. (2019). Using binary logistic regression to investigate the impact of the Durham Grant Scheme. Durham University Report.
  • Jones, K. & Tymms, P. (2014). EU Inspection study project report: Year 1 Survey Data Analysis: England.
  • Anane, E., Jones, K. & Tymms, P. (2014). Evidence from a school inspection study: Survey data from England.
  • Jones, K. & Tymms, P. (2012). EU Inspection study project report: Year 1 Survey Data Analysis: England.
  • Torgerson, C.J., Wiggins, A., Torgerson, D.J., Ainsworth, H., Barmby, P., Hewitt, C., Jones, K., Hendry, V., Askew, M., Bland, M., Coe, R., Higgins, S., Hodgen, J., Hulme, C. & Tymms, P. (2011). Every Child Counts: The Independent evaluation Executive Summary. Department for Education (DfE).
  • Merrell, C., Jones, P., Bolden, D., Jones, K., Defty, N. & Ndaji, F. (2010). Evaluation of procedures for calculating National Ratings: A report for the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
  • Merrell, C., Jones, P., Bolden, D., Jones, K., Defty, N. & Ndaji, F. (2010). For helping young children: A review of pupils' attitudes to Science and Mathematics.
  • Wiggins, A., Coe, R., Jones, K. & Kan, M-Y. (2009). Evidence of educational support outside of school. London.
  • Coe, R., Jones, K., Searle, J., Kokotsaki, C., Mohd Kosnin, A. & Skinner, P. (2008). Evidence on the effects of selective educational systems. London.
  • Coe, R.J., Searle, J., Barmby, P., Jones, K. & Higgins, S. (2008). Relative difficulty of examinations in different subjects. CEM Centre, School of Education.
  • Jones, K. L. & Coe, R. (2006). Evaluation of Increased Flexibility Programme, Cohort 3.