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About Dr Sue Thomson

Dr Sue Thomson was ACER’s Deputy CEO (Research) until October 2022. She provided senior leadership to staff in several research programs including Surveys and International Assessments, System-wide Testing, Educational Policy and Practice, Education and Development and Tertiary Education. In October 2018, Sue was elected to join the Standing Committee of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).
Dr Thomson was the National Research Coordinator for Australia in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which measures achievement in mathematics and science for students in grades 4 and 8, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which measures reading literacy of grade 4 students, and the National Project Manager for Australia for the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which examines reading, mathematical and scientific literacy of 15-year-old students.
Dr Thomson's research at ACER involved extensive analysis of large-scale national and international data sets - the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY), as well as TIMSS and PISA. She collaborated on projects involving analysis of the longitudinal data collection associated with PISA. She has experience with a wide range of complex statistical procedures, including cluster analysis, discriminant analysis and multi-level modelling.
The PISA and TIMSS reports produced by Dr Thomson and her team are widely recognised as world-class, and have led to similar work for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia.
Dr Thomson joined ACER in 1998 and spent a number of years as a member of the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth project team. She also managed the Australian component of Schools around the World, an international project examining assessment in science and mathematics, and Project Good Start, which examined children's numeracy in the transition from preschool to the first year of school. She was engaged as an expert writer on the National Numeracy Review, and has consulted with DEEWR, FaHCSIA and the Victorian and ACT Departments of Education on a variety of data analysis projects related to TIMSS and PISA.
Before joining ACER, Dr Thomson lectured at a number of universities in Statistics and Research Methodology while she completed her PhD focusing on students' attributions and engagement in mathematics over the transition from primary to secondary school. Prior to that Dr Thomson worked as a Mathematics and IT teacher in government secondary schools in Victoria.
Dr Thomson has published a variety of articles, research reports and conference papers based on her work (see also under Sue Fullarton).


2022 Director, Educational Monitoring and Research, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Research Director Australian Surveys Research Program, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact Information

Australian Council for Educational Research
19 Prospect Hill Rd,
Camberwell, VIC, Australia 3124
T: +61 3 9277 5555
F: +61 3 9277 5500


Reports (68)