Professor George Leckie

Professor of Social Statistics

  • E-mail:
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 455 2817
  • Address: Room 3.15b, School of Eduction, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA


  • Multilevel modelling
  • Longitudinal data analysis
  • School value-added models
  • School performance measures, league tables, accountability, choice, and improvement
  • Applications of social statistics in education
  • Analysis of DfE National Pupil Database and other administratve education linked micro data

Biography and research interests

I am a Professor of Social Statistics and Co-Director of the Centre for Multilevel Modelling (CMM) at the School of Education, University of Bristol, UK.

My methodological interests are in the development, application and dissemination of multilevel and related models to analyse educational and other data. My substantive interests focus on design, analysis, and communication issues surrounding school performance measures and league tables, especially the use of value-added models for estimating school effects on student achievement for accountability and choice purposes.

I was awarded the Frances Wood Medal in the Royal Statistical Society's 2017 honours for my contributions to Social Statistics over the past 10 years, especially my school league table research.

I am currently principal investigator on an ESRC secondary data analysis initiative grant looking at the 2020 GCSE and A-level 'exam grades fiasco' and am also principal investigator on an ESRC standard grant looking at school league tables. I am also a co-investigator on a Swedish Research Council grant. Previously, I held an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant and have been a co-investigator on four other substantial ESRC and MRC grants.

My first-authored research includes publications in leading applied statistics journals: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A; Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics; Journal of Educational Measurement; Journal of Statistical Software; and Psychological Methods; as well as substantive educational journals: British Educational Research Journal; School Effectiveness and Improvement. 

My co-authored research includes publications in further applied statistics journals: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics; Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation; Statistics in Medicine; Sociological Methodology; and Statistical Methods in Medical Research; and other top substantive journals: American Journal of EpidemiologyAmerican Sociological ReviewCriminology; Developmental Psychology; Journal of Management Studies; Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

I have taught over 50 multilevel modelling short courses across UK, Europe, Australia and US.

Research grants

I have been grant funded 40% of my time over the period 2010/11 through 2012/23. My grants as Principal Investigator sum to £950,000 while my grants as Co-Investigator sum to over £5 million.

Current grants

Past grants


My teaching is distinctive in that I deliver training and capacity building in introductory through to advanced quantitative methods. I do this for both post-graduate students and researchers (academic and non-academic) and I do this across the social, behavioural and medical sciences (nationally and internationally).

Current teaching

At masters level, I am a Pathway leader for the MSc Education (Open Pathway). The pathway takes around 120 students per year. I am Unit Director on Multivariate Statistical Methods in Education teaching 30 students per year and Unit Tutor on Statistics in Education teaching 150 students per year.

At PhD level, I supervise nive PhD students. Several of these are funded by ESRC/EPSRC/University scholarships. All these students apply multilevel modelling to address important substantive research questions in the social sciences.

At researcher level, I run two three-day multilevel modelling courses per year for external academic researchers and PhD students. These courses are fee-paying.

I also maintain the our popular LEMMA multilevel modelling online course and have contributed an extensive set of training materials to this resource.

Past teaching

At Undergraduate level, I have taught sessions on Year 1 Convincing Stories and I contributed to the design of Year 2 Educational Statistics.

At Masters level, I was Unit Tutor on MSc Mathematics and Programming Skills, teaching one one-third of this unit. I have also taught sessions on various other masters units. I have supervised masters dissertations and have been a personal tutor at this level.

At EdD-level I have taught sessions on various units and supervised EdD students.

At PhD-level, I delivered four two-day short courses per year for seven years on various topics in advanced quantitative methods as part of the ESRC SWDTP Advanced Quantitative Methods Pathway. I have also seen five PhD students to completion, four of who were funded by ESRC scholarships. I have been an external PhD examiner for students in Australia, Canada, and UK.

At researcher level, I have taught over 50 multilevel modelling short courses across UK, Europe, Australia and US, including. These include courses for the Eurofound European Agency in Dublin, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin.

In terms of teaching related admin I co-lead the M-level Education Open Pathway and I am the School Plagiarism officer.

Professional activities

I play an active role in the Royal Statistical Society. Since 2008, I have taught an annual two-day course on multilevel modelling for the society's short-course programme. Previously, I was an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A (2017-2019). I have also sat on the Social Statistics Section committee and the Professional Development Centre committee. 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 am co-organiser of the DfE funded NPD User Group annual meetings. I am on an advisory group for an ESRC SDAI grant. Previously I have been on an ESRC commissioning panel and a member of the ESRC Steered Studentship Assurance Checking virtual panel for their Advanced Quantitative Methods pathway. I have also been on an expert group for the Sutton Trust and two expert groups for the Office for Students.

I have peer-reviewed grants for national and international eight research councils and peer-reviewed articles for 27 journals.

I have worked or advised on a range of government and other external projects. These include: Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, Catholic University of Portugal, Colombian Evaluation Institute, Higher Education Academy, Home Office, Israel Acaademy of Sciences, National Assessment Agency, ACT testing company, National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements Slovak Republic, Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Pearson Education, RAND Europe, Swedish Education Department, The Times and Sunday Times Data Analysis Team, Trinidad and Tobago Education Department, World Bank.

Journal articles

I have published 75 journal articles resulting in 3152 Google Scholar citations and an h-index of 30 (as of September 2021).

  1. Lersch, P. M.,  Schulz, W., Leckie, G. (2020). The Variability of Occupational Attainment: How Prestige Trajectories Diversified within Birth Cohorts over the 20th Century in West Germany. American Sociological Review. Forthcoming.
  2. Austin, P. C., Leckie, G. (2020). Bootstrapped inference for variance parameters, measures of heterogeneity and random effects in multilevel logistic regression models. Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation. Forthcoming.
  3. Kristensen, P. K., Perez-Vicente, R., Leckie, G., Paaske Johnsen, S., Merlo, J. (2020). Disentangling the contribution of hospitals and municipalities for understanding patient level differences in one-year mortality risk after hip-fracture: a cross-classified multilevel analysis in Sweden. Forthcoming. PLOS One.
  4. Khalaf, K., Axelsson Fisk, S., Leckie, G., Perez-Vicente, R., Merlo, J. (2020). Geographical and sociodemographic differences in discontinuation with medication for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ΜΆ  A cross-classified multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy (MAIHDA). Clinical Epidemiology.
  5. Parker, R. M. A., Leckie, G., Goldstein, H., Heron, J., Howe, L. D., Tilling, K. (2020). Joint modelling of individual trajectories, within-individual variability and a later outcome: systolic blood pressure through childhood and left ventricular mass in early adulthood. American Journal of Epidemiology. Forthcoming.
  6. Goldstein, H., Haynes, M., Leckie, G., Tran, P. (2020). Estimating reliability statistics and measurement error variances using instrumental variables with longitudinal data. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. Forthcoming.
  7. Leckie, G., Browne, W., Goldstein, H., Merlo, J., Austin, P. (2020). Variance partitioning in multilevel models for count data. Psychological Methods. Forthcoming.
  8. Austin, P. C., Lee, D. S., Leckie, G. Comparing a multivariate response Bayesian random effects logistic regression model with a latent variable item response theory model for provider profiling on multiple binary indicators simultaneously. Statistics in Medicine. Forthcoming.
  9. Koster, J., Aven, B., and Leckie, G. SRM methods. Field Methods. Forthcoming.
  10. Evans, C., Leckie, G., & Merlo, J. Multilevel versus Single Level Regression for the analysis of Multilevel information: The case of Quantitative Intersectional Analysis. Social Science & Medicine; Forthcoming. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112499.
  11. Wemrell, M., Persmark, A., Zettermark, S., Leckie, G., Subramanian, S. V. &, Merlo, J. Precision public health: mapping socioeconomic disparities in opioid dispensations at Swedish pharmacies by Multilevel Analysis of Individual Heterogeneity and Discriminatory Accuracy (MAIHDA). PLOS ONE.
  12. Kristensen, P. K., Merlo, J., Ghith, N., Leckie, G., Johnsen, S. P. Hospital differences in death rates after hip fracture surgery in Denmark: A multilevel approach for evaluating variation in 30-day mortality after hip fracture in a population-based cohort study. Clinical Epidemiology. Forthcoming.
  13. Merlo, J., Leckie, G., and Wagner, P. A simple multilevel approach for analysing geographical inequalities in public health reports: the case of municipality differences in obesity. Health and Place. Forthcoming.
  14. Persmark, A., Wemrell, M., Evans, C. R., Subramanian, S. V., Leckie, G., & Merlo, J. Intersectional Inequalities and the U.S. Opioid Crisis: Challenging dominant narratives and revealing unseen realities. Critical Public Health. Forthcoming.
  15. Kwong, A.,  López-López, J., Hammerton, G., Manley, D., Timpson, N., Leckie, G., Pearson, R. Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors Associated with Different Trajectories of Depression Symptoms from Adolescence to Young Adulthood. JAMA Network Open. Forthcoming.
  16. Leckie, G. and Goldstein, H. (2019) The importance of adjusting for pupil background in school value-added models: A study of Progress 8 and school accountability in England. British Educational Research Journal.
  17. Allan, J. L., Johnston, D. W., Powell, D. J. H., Farquharson, B., Jones, M. C., Leckie, G., Johnston, M. Clinical decisions and time since rest break: An analysis of decision fatigue in nurses. Health Psychology. Forthcoming.
  18. Hernández-Yumar, A., Wemrell, M., Abásolo Alessón, I., González López-Valcárcel, B., Leckie, G., Merlo, J. Socioeconomic differences in Body Mass Index in Spain: an intersectional multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy. PLOS One.
  19. von Hinke, S., Leckie, G., & Nicoletti, C. The use of instrumental variables in peer effects model. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics. Forthcoming.
  20. Kwong, A. S. F., Manley, D., Timpson, N., Pearson, R., Heron, J., Sallis, H., Stergiakouli, E., Davis, O., & Leckie, G. Identifying Critical Points of Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms from Childhood to Young Adulthood: Evidence of Sex Differences from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Journal of Youth and Adolescence (JOYO).
  21. Sindall, K., Sturgis, P. Steele, F, Leckie, G., & French, R. A reassessment of socio-economic gradients in child cognitive development using Growth Mixture Models. Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies.
  22. Austin, P., & Leckie, G. (2018). The effect of number of clusters and cluster size on statistical power and type I error rates when testing random effects variance components in multilevel linear and logistic regression models. Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, 88, 3151-3163.
  23. Zhang, N., Wang, W., Harris, R., & Leckie, G. Analysing inter-provincial province urban migration flows in China: A new multilevel gravity model approach. Migration Studies. Forthcoming.
  24. Browne, D. T., Wade, M, Plamondon, A., Leckie, G., Perlman, M., Madigan, S., & Jenkins, J. Child and contextual effects in the emergence of differential maternal sensitivity across siblings. Developmental Psychology, 54, 1265-1276.
  25. Brunton-Smith, I., Sturgis, P., & Leckie, G. How collective is collective efficacy? The importance of consensus in judgments about community cohesion and willingness to intervene. Criminology, 56, 608-637.
  26. Goldstein, H., Leckie, G., Charlton, C., Tilling, K., & Browne, W. J. Multilevel growth curve models that incorporate a random coefficient model for the level 1 variance function. Statistical Methods in Medical Research, 27, 3478-3491.
  27. Lampert, C, Kim, M., Hubbard, T., Roy, R., & Leckie, G. Fearlessly swimming upstream to risky waters: The role of geographic entry in innovation. Journal of Management Studies. Forthcoming.
  28. Leckie, G. Avoiding bias when estimating the consistency and stability of value-added school effects using multilevel models. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 43, 440-468.
  29. Merlo, J., Wagner, P, Austin, P., & Subramanian, S. V., Leckie, G. General and specific contextual effects in multilevel regression analyses and their paradoxical relationship: a conceptual tutorial. Social Science and Medicine: Population Health, 5, 33-37.
  30. Sandhu, S. S. and Leckie, G. Diurnal variation in orthodontic pain: clinical implications and pharmacological management. Seminars in Orthodontics, 24, 217-224.
  31. Austin, P. C., Stryhn, H., Leckie, G., & Merlo, J. (2018). Measures of clustering and heterogeneity in multilevel Poisson regression analyses of rates/count dataStatistics in Medicine, 37, 572-589.
  32. Axelsson Fisk, S., Mulinari, S., Wemrell, M., Leckie, G., Perez Vicente, R., Merlo, J. (2018). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Sweden: An intersectional multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy. Social Science and Medicine: Population Health, 4, 334-346.
  33. Baird, J.-A., Meadows, M, Caro, D., and Leckie, G. (2017). Rater Accuracy and Training Group Effects in Expert and Supervisor-Based Monitoring Systems. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 24, 44-59. 
  34. Browne, D. T., Kumar, A., Puente-Duran, S., Georgiades, K., Leckie, G., & Jenkins, J. (2017). Emotional problems among recent immigrants and parenting status: Findings from a national longitudinal study of immigrants in Canada. PLOS one, 12(4), 1-14.
  35. Brunton-Smith, I., Sturgis, P., Leckie, G. (2017). Detecting, and understanding interviewer effects on survey data using a cross-classified mixed-effects location scale model. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 180, 2, 551-568.
  36. von Hinke Kessler Scholder, S., & Leckie, G. Protecting Calorie Intakes against Income ShocksJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 141, 210-232.
  37. Leckie, G., & Goldstein, H. (2017). The evolution of school league tables in England 1992-2016: ‘contextual value-added’, ‘expected progress’ and ‘progress 8’British Educational Research Journal, 43, 193-212.
  38. Steele F., Clarke, P., Leckie, G., Allan, J., & Johnston, D. (2017). Multilevel structural equation models for longitudinal data where predictors are measured more frequently than outcomes: An application to the effects of stress on the cognitive function of nurses. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 180, 263-283.
  39. Browne, D.T., Leckie, G., Prime, H., Perlman, M., & Jenkins, J. (2016). Observed sensitivity during family interactions and cumulative risk: A study of multiple dyads per family. Developmental Psychology, 52, 1128-1138.
  40. Diedrichs, P. C., Atkinson, M. J. Garbett, K. M., Williamson, H., Halliwell, E., Rumsey, N. Leckie, G., Sibley, C. G., & Barlow, F. K. (2016). Randomised controlled trial of an online mother-daughter body image and well-being interventionHealth Psychology, 35, 996-1006. DOI: 10.1037/hea0000361.
  41. Goldstein, H. and Leckie, G. Trends in examination performance and exposure to standardised tests in England and Wales. (2016). British Educational Research Journal, 42, 367-375.
  42. Merlo, J., Wagner, P., Ghith, N., & Leckie, G. (2016). An original stepwise multilevel logistic regression analysis of discriminatory accuracy: the case of neighbourhoods and health. PLoS ONE, 11(4), 1-31.
  43. Sandhu, S. and Leckie, G. (2016). Orthodontic pain trajectories in adolescents: how different are the individuals? American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics, 149, 491-500.
  44. Zhang, Z., Parker, R., Charlton, C.,  Leckie, G., and Browne, W.J. R2MLwiN - A program to run the MLwiN multilevel modelling software from within RJournal of Statistical Software, 72, 10, 1-43.
  45. Koster, J., Leckie, G., Miller, A., and Hames, R. (2015). Multilevel modeling analysis of dyadic network data with an application to Ye’kwana food sharingAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology, 157, 507-512.
  46. Perlman, M., Lyon Amos, M., Leckie, G., Steele, F. and Jenkins, J. Capturing the temporal sequence of interaction in young siblings. PLoS ONE, 10(5), 1-21.
  47. 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), 178, 405-424.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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. 
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. Leckie, G., Pillinger, R., Jones, K. and Goldstein, H. (2012). Multilevel modelling of social segregation. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 37, 3-30.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Leckie, G. and Goldstein, H. (2011). Understanding uncertainty in school league tables. Fiscal Studies, 32, 207-224.
  59. 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, 1-26.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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

  1. Browne, D. T., Leckie, G., & Jenkins, J. M.  (2018). Understanding Couples and Family Dynamics through Dyadic Methodology. In Fiese, B., Deater-Deckard, K. Celano, M., Jouriles, E., & Whisman, M. (Ed.) APA Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology, X, Chapter 19, X-X. Forthcoming.
  2. Leckie, G. and Goldstein, H. (2018). Monitoring school performance using value-added and value-table models: Lessons from the UK. In Perna, C., Pratesi, M., & Ruiz-Gazen, A. (Eds.) Studies in Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, Chapter 23, X-X.
  3. Leckie, G. (2014). Cross-classified hierarchical linear modeling. In: Michalos A. C. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, pp 1359-1363.
  4. Leckie, G. (2014). Multiple membership models. In: Michalos A. C. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, pp 4206-4210.
  5. Leckie, G. (2012) Cross-classified multilevel models using Stata: How important are schools and neighbourhoods for students’ educational attainment? In Garson, D. (Ed.) Hierarchical Linear Modeling: Guide and Applications. Sage, 311-332.
  6. Propper, C. and Leckie, G. (2011) Increasing competition between providers in health care markets: The economic evidence. In Smith, P. and Glied, S. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Health Economics. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 671-687.
  7. Leckie, G., Pillinger, R., Jenkins, J. and Rasbash, J. (2010) School, family, neighbourhood: which is most important to a child's education? Significance, 67-72.
  8. Goldstein, H. and Leckie, G. (2008) School league tables: What can they really tell us? Significance, 5, 67-69.
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Professor George Leckie
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