Dr George Leckie

George Leckie

Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics

Research Interests

My methodological interests are in the application and dissemination of multilevel and other latent variable models to analyse educational and social science data. Particular areas of interest include multilevel analysis of non-hierarchical data (e.g., cross-classified models, multiple membership models), longitudinal data analysis (e.g., growth-curve models, latent class growth analysis, growth mixture models, dynamic models), and dyadic data analysis (e.g., actor-partner interdependence model, social relations model).

My substantive interests in educational research include: school performance indicators and their associated publication in league tables; value-added models (VAMs) for measuring school and teacher effects on student achievement; modelling rater effects on test scoring; neighbourhood, school and family effects on child outcomes. However, I also often collaborate with co-authors working in other disciplines, including: anthropology, economics, sociology, and psychology.

My statistical software interests are in developing runmlwin and runmixregls, commands to fit multilevel models in the MLwiN and the MIXREGLS software from within Stata.


I am a Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics at the Centre for Multilevel Modelling (CMM) and Graduate School of Education (GSOE). I joined CMM in 2005, initially working on the ESRC-funded LEMMA 1 grant (2005-2008). I was a co-investigator on the ESRC-funded LEMMA 2 (2008-2011) and e-Stat (2009-2012) grants and am currently a co-investigator on the ESRC-funded LEMMA 3 (2011-2015) and eBooks (2013-2016) grants. I hold an ESRC Future Research Leaders Grant (2013-2015).

I hold a status-only Associate Professor position at the Graduate Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, University of Toronto. Previously, I have held research positions at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation in the Department of Economics, University of Bristol and was a visiting fellow at Cornell University, Institute of Education, University of York, and VU University Amsterdam.

My ongoing research (with Professor Harvey Goldstein), on the statistical limitations of school league tables, has received considerable attention in the press; including: BBC Radio 4, Financial Times, The Telegraph, and The Times Educational Supplement.

My current teaching commitments include running three PhD short courses on the Advanced Quantitative Methods pathway of the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC): (1) Introduction to Stata, (2) Review of Linear Regression Using Stata, and (3) Multilevel Modelling Using Stata. I also second supervise three PhD students and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I often teach external short courses on multilevel modelling to academic and other researchers: Belfast, Bristol, Brussels, Cincinnati, Dublin (Centre for Longitudinal Studies in Ireland), Dublin (Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland), Dublin (University College Dublin), Essex, Giessen, Oxford, London, Paris (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), Southampton, Tuebingen, and Zurich. I author an extensive set of multilevel modelling training materials for the LEMMA Multilevel Modelling Online Course.

I play an active role in the Royal Statistical Society. Currently I sit on both the Social Statistics Section committee and the Professional Development Centre committee. Since 2008, I have taught (with Professor Harvey Goldstein) an annual two-day course on multilevel modelling for the society's Short-course Programme. I have published in the society's Series A (Statistics in Society) journal and Significance magazine and have peer reviewed for Series A and Series C. I have presented regularly at the society's annual conference and at various society local group meetings.

I have worked or advised on a range of government and other external projects: Catholic University of Portugal, Colombian Evaluation Institute, Higher Education Academy, King’s College London (MRC grant), National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA) / ACT testing company, National Assessment Agency, Pearson Education, Rand Europe, The Times and Sunday Times Data Analysis Team, University of Birmingham (DoH grant), University of Oxford (Ofqual grant).

I co-run the DfE funded PLUG series of workshops.

Current ESRC research grants

Past ESRC research grants

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Leckie, G. and Goldstein, H. (2015). A multilevel modelling approach to measuring changing patterns of ethnic composition and segregation among London secondary schools, 2001-2010. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), Forthcoming.
  2. Koster, J. and Leckie, G. (2014). Food sharing networks in lowland Nicaragua: An application of the social relations model to count data. Social Networks, 38, 100-110.
  3. Leckie, G. (2014). runmixregls - A program to run the MIXREGLS mixed-effects location scale software from within Stata. Journal of Statistical Software, 59 (Code Snippet 2), 1-41.
  4. Leckie, G., French, R., Charlton, C., and Browne, W. (2014). Modeling heterogeneous variance-covariance components in two-level models. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 39, 307-332.
  5. Zammit, S., Gunnell, D., Lewis, G., Leckie, G., Dalman, C. and Allebeck, P. (2014). Individual and area level influence on suicide risk: a multilevel longitudinal study of Swedish school children. Psychological Medicine, 44, 267–277. 
  6. Leckie, G. and Charlton, C. (2013). runmlwin - A program to run the MLwiN multilevel modelling software from within Stata. Journal of Statistical Software, 52 (11),1-40.
  7. Jenkins, J., Rasbash, J., Leckie, G., Gass, K. and Dunn, J. (2012). The role of maternal factors in sibling relationship quality: a multilevel study of multiple dyads per family. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 53, 622-629.
  8. Leckie, G., Pillinger, R., Jones, K. and Goldstein, H. (2012). Multilevel modelling of social segregation. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 37, 3-30.
  9. Cheung, C., Goodman, D., Leckie, G. and Jenkins, J. (2011). Understanding contextual effects on externalizing behaviors in children in out-of-home care: Influence of workers and foster families. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 2050-2060.
  10. Leckie, G. and Baird, J.-A. (2011). Rater effects on essay scoring: A multilevel analysis of severity drift, central tendency and rater experience. Journal of Educational Measurement, 48, 399-418.
  11. Leckie, G. and Goldstein, H. (2011). A note on “The limitations of using school league tables to inform school choice”. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 174, 833-836.
  12. Leckie, G. and Goldstein, H. (2011). Understanding uncertainty in school league tables. Fiscal Studies, 32, 207-224.
  13. Rasbash, J., Leckie, G., Pillinger, R. and Jenkins, J. (2010). Children's educational progress: partitioning family, school and area effects, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 173, Part 4, 1-26.
  14. Leckie, G. (2009). The complexity of school and neighbourhood effects and movements of pupils on school differences in models of educational achievement, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 172, 537-554.
  15. Leckie, G. and Goldstein, H. (2009). The limitations of using school league tables to inform school choice, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 172, 835-851.
  16. Propper, C., Burgess, S., Bolster, A., Leckie, G., Jones, K. and Johnston, R. (2007). The impact of neighbourhood on the income and mental health of British social renters, Urban Studies, 44, 393-415.
  17. Propper, C., Damiani, M., Leckie, G. and Dixon, J. (2007). Impact of patients’ socioeconomic status on the distance travelled for hospital admission in the English National Health Service, Journal of Health Service Research & Policy, 12, 153-159.

Other Publications (selected)