Sparx is a scientifically driven and research based educational technology company. We are using technology, data and real-world classroom observations to scientifically investigate the way young people learn. Using technology to dive deep into the learning process, we explore and analyse what works and what doesn’t, and deliver more personalised, evidence-driven lessons and homework that produces results.
Full job description
Sparx is an unashamedly data-driven company. Our CEO is a statistician by training, our data team is a core part of our organisation, and our management care deeply about the work of our data scientists and statisticians. We collect data, we do it well, and we have a clear goal for it: to empower teachers and improve educational outcomes for students. To join us, we’re looking for a Senior Data Scientist with a real passion for education and a belief in the power of technology to improve it.
Each student using the Sparx product attempts thousands of problems per year. Our data team uses this information, along with internal and external domain expertise, to understand how the student and product are performing and how both can improve. You’ll be solving problems, highlighting insights and producing data reports for our key school stakeholders. As a Senior Data Scientist, you’ll be integral from day one. Every day you’ll blend maths, analytics, algorithms and your understanding of human behaviour to drive the development of the Sparx system, inform strategic decisions and shape team objectives. Working together with the wider Sparx team, you will develop engaging new ways to teach topics that unlock a whole new world of understanding for students.
Here are some of the skills and qualifications we are looking for:
You’re a champion of the scientific method with a rigorous, disciplined approach and meticulous attention to detail. Complicated mathematics comes naturally to you and you’re at home working with vast, messy data sets, but you’re equally happy to use a simple solution if that’s the right way to approach a problem and do not get excited by complexity for its own sake. You’ll have a critical appreciation for the limitations of our data, and be able to clearly communicate what we can and cannot do with it.
You can simplify complex ideas and convey them to a varied audience, validating your findings and explaining their implications. With an insatiably inquisitive nature and sharp analytical mind, you look beyond the numbers, using data to question, challenge, solve problems and tell stories.
On the whole, you’re proactive, dynamic and enthusiastic, able to multi-task and focus on the detail without losing sight of the bigger picture. Things move quickly at Sparx so you’ll be able to work to tight deadlines and adapt in the face of changing priorities and a fluctuating workload. Overall, you’ll be committed to the success of the project, a great team player and you’ll always keep in mind the context that we are working in: these are real students in real schools and it’s our mission to give them the best mathematics education that we possibly can.
Every year, around 40% of UK students who sit GCSE Maths fail to obtain a grade 4 or higher (previously grade C). This is an alarming statistic and is one of the fundamental issues motivating Sparx. We want everyone to fulfil their learning potential, and be excited and motivated about learning.Founded by Mark Dixon and Glenn Woodcock in 2011, Sparx employs over 70 people, all of whom are working to create a learning platform that can be rolled out across schools in the UK. The platform includes ‘big data’, granular content and gaming, all of which are carefully brought together and fashioned into a system capable of significantly improving the pace and quality of learning. Data captured from the lessons is truly remarkable, allowing real-time feedback which enables the re-positioning of certain concepts, to better the students’ understanding of the material. The impact of this work is potentially transformational. It is a major initiative and a tremendous opportunity.
We’re about living life, not putting it on hold. Our generous benefits include substantial holiday leave and the chance to join our company pension. We have a range of on-site facilities for all employees to use free of charge. On site we have a netball court, a five-a-side football pitch, a running track, a pool table, an Olympic table tennis table, as well as an on-site gym with classes throughout the day. Our café serves delicious, local, and organic food. Did we mention it’s all free? On top of this you’ll have great views from your office window of the foothills of Dartmoor and boats out at sea on the horizon – with the beach just 20 minutes away. Plus, we’re constantly organising events and activities to support our charities, and to socialise. Our work is serious but we’re all about having fun while we do it!