Education and Training Foundation chosen to manage Centres for Excellence in Maths programme

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF), the national workforce development body for the Further Education and Training sector, has been chosen by the Department for Education to manage its Centres for Excellence in Maths programme.

Over the next three years the ETF will work with a range of expert delivery partners and the 21 Centres to help increase the number of young people leaving compulsory education with basic maths skills, up to GCSE and equivalent level. This is to help them improve their employability and engage with further learning.

To achieve this aim, teaching approaches will be developed and tested in the following areas, relevant to teaching students with low prior attainment in maths, with findings shared across the post-16 and Further Education sector.

  • An adapted mastery approach for lower attaining students post-16.
  • A focus on motivating and engaging learners.
  • Contextualisation of content towards vocational learning.
  • Use of data and technology.

Each of the 21 Centres will form its own network and disseminate its findings and resources to support these new and improved ways of teaching maths within their region.

The following eight expert partner organisations are working alongside the ETF to support the Centres in delivering the programme:

  • Association of Colleges (AoC) is delivering termly forums and meetings to support middle managers and teachers across the Centres and their wider networks.
  • Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is supporting work on learner engagement and motivation across the programme.
  • Eedi is delivering a diagnostic platform to help track learner progress to improve teaching in the colleges and will advise on aspects of technology in education.
  • Pearson is delivering handbooks and resources that outline relevant research and guidance on all four themes of the programme.
  • PET–Xi Training is delivering CPD across the programme.
  • Touchconsulting is delivering middle leader and advanced practitioner training.
  • White Rose Maths is advising on aspects of mastery teaching and Maths Hubs engagement.
  • University of Nottingham is running trials of approaches to enhance learner knowledge and motivation across the teaching approaches.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton, said: “Maths is vital for work and life and we want to support all young people to reach their potential. We know that achieving a good level in maths increases your chances of getting a job, an apprenticeship or progressing to further education.

“I am pleased that the Education and Training Foundation has been chosen to lead this exciting maths programme so that more young people have the skills they need to get on in life. This is a great opportunity to really understand and share ‘what works’ to support maths teaching across the Centres, the networks they will be developing, and the wider sector.

“It’s fantastic to see this programme coming to life and I look forward to hearing more about the progress they make.”

David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, said: “This is an exciting initiative to develop and enhance maths teaching in the post-16 education world. The scale of the opportunity to re-engage young people with maths learning is considerable and this programme will go a long way to build a strong evidence base of what works both now and for the long-term. The potential prize for success is significant.

“This programme aligns with our workforce development approach which is founded on delivering evidence-informed practice and innovation. We have put together a range of expert partners who have played a key role in developing the four approaches to be tested.”

Quotes from Partners

Eddie Playfair, Senior Policy Manager, who will be leading on this work from AoC, said: “The Association of Colleges (AoC) supports and represents colleges in England and is delighted to be a delivery partner for the Centres of Excellence in Maths.

“The vast majority of post-16 maths ‘retake’ students are in colleges, so raising student achievement in post-16 mathematics is one of the major challenges facing colleges. We welcome this initiative and will bring our strong record of delivering large programmes and our extensive network and experience in the college sector to the project. We will be supporting those colleges who have been designated as Centres for Excellence to ensure that they identify, develop and share good practice. We also want to help build strong, sustainable networks to ensure that all colleges can benefit from the learning and resources coming from this project.”

Jess Hunt, Senior Advisor, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), said: "We're delighted to be involved in delivering the Maths Centres of Excellence. We'll be supporting colleges to design and implement evidence-based approaches to improve student experiences and outcomes in maths, by drawing on our world-leading expertise in behavioural insights."

Ben Caulfield, CEO & Co-founder of Eedi, said: “We believe the Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) programme has the ability to deliver a step-change in UK education. Designed to aide those re-taking their GCSE exams, the data the programme will accumulate will help inform primary and secondary teachers of common problem areas potentially reducing the number of re-sits in the longer term."

Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President for Schools at Pearson, said: "We are delighted that Pearson has been chosen as one of the delivery partners in the Education and Training Foundation's consortium for the DfE's Centres for Excellence in Post 16 Mathematics programme. Pearson has a wealth of relevant expertise and experience to bring to this partnership, both in supporting maths education and using learning technologies to support teaching and learning. We are very excited to have an opportunity to work with the consortium to make a real difference in ensuring Post 16 learners achieve their potential in maths.”

Fleur Sexton DL, Managing Director at PET-Xi Training Ltd, said: “PET-Xi are absolutely thrilled to be part of this amazing innovative expert-led programme. We are proud to be bringing our training skills together to raise standards in Maths.”

Joss Kang, Managing Director at Touchconsulting, said: “Touchconsulting is thrilled to be working as part of a Foundation-led consortium co-designing and delivering CPD for leaders and maths practitioners across the 21 Centres for Excellence in maths. The programme is multifaceted and designed to help improve learner outcomes and build workforce capacity across the sector. I look forward to contributing to that journey.”

Caroline Hamilton, Head of White Rose Maths, said: “We are really excited to be supporting the work of the Centres for Excellence in Mathematics. Together, with the other partners, we are confident we can help make a difference to the Teaching and Learning in mathematics at post-16”

Professor Andrew Noyes, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange) at University of Nottingham, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be part of such an outstanding consortium and are very much looking forward to contributing our research expertise in post-16 mathematics education to this important project.”

More information on the Centres for Excellence in Maths programme can be found on the Education and Training Foundation website.

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