Education Endowment Foundation:1stClass@Number (Accelerator Fund delivery)

1stClass@Number (Accelerator Fund delivery)

Edge Hill University
Project info

Independent Evaluator


1stClass@Number is delivered by a trained teaching assistant or teacher to a small group of pupils who have moderate difficulties in mathematics.

No more school places available.

1stClass@Number, an intervention run by Edge Hill University, improves children’s understanding of number and develops early calculation skills. It aims to help children in Year 2 with moderate difficulties in mathematics to make faster progress and catchup with their peers. It comes ready-made with detailed session guidance and extensive resources.

A specially trained teaching assistant delivers up to 30 half-hour sessions to a group of up to four children, for around 10 weeks. These sessions take place in addition to the normal class mathematics lessons. The professional development for 1stClass@Number will be delivered via a mixture of in-person and online training sessions. This involves:

  1. A full-day in-person training for teaching assistants who must be accompanied by a school link teacher (a senior teacher who will lead and manage the intervention in school) for the first half of the training day.
  2. 2 half-day in-person sessions and 2 half-day online sessions for teaching assistants covering mathematical subject knowledge and pedagogy. The school link teacher will also be expected to attend the final half-day of training.
  3. An in-person or virtual school visit to support the teaching assistant and link teacher with managing, delivering and evaluating 1stClass@Number.

The teaching assistant starts working with their group of pupils soon after the first training day. Schools also receive a support package including online guidance, downloadable resources, access to an online data system with analysis of children’s progress, together with remote telephone or email support.

As part of the Department for Education’s Accelerator Fund, the EEF is supporting programmes that have positively impacted pupil outcomes in previous EEF trials to reach more pupils. We will support these programmes to be accessible at a larger scale with delivery focused on the Research School Commissioner regions of the North, East Midlands & Humber, West Midlands, whilst maintaining their high quality and impact.

1stClass@Number has already been rigorously evaluated in previous EEF trials, so this project is focused on scaling up of the programme to support more schools and pupils.

However, as part of the EEF’s overall Accelerator Fund work, an evaluation team will be commissioned to independently evaluate the extent to which the overall aims of the package of work has been met, whether each part of the work (for example, scale up programme delivery) has delivered its goals and implemented as planned, and identify specific factors that promote or hinder its success and in order to inform the EEF’s future processes and practice. This evaluation will be focusing on processes rather than impact.