Assessing pupil and school performance by non-parametric and parametric techniques

K. de Witte, E. Thanassoulis, G. Simpson, G. Battisti, A. Charlesworth-May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper discusses the use of the non-parametric free disposal hull (FDH) and the parametric multi-level model (MLM) as alternative methods for measuring pupil and school attainment where hierarchical structured data are available. Using robust FDH estimates, we show how to decompose the overall inefficiency of a unit (a pupil) into a unit specific and a higher level (a school) component. By a sample of entry and exit attainments of 3017 girls in British ordinary single sex schools, we test the robustness of the non-parametric and parametric estimates. Finally, the paper uses the traditional MLM model in a best practice framework so that pupil and school efficiencies can be computed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1237
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number8
Early online date29 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010



  • performance measurement
  • free disposal hull
  • multi-level modelling
  • secondary education

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