Education Endowment Foundation:Maths Counts

Maths Counts

Mead Community Primary School
Implementation cost
Evidence strength
Impact (months)
Independent Evaluator
Durham University
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One-to-one support to improve skills and confidence in maths.
Pupils: 291 Schools: 35 Grant: £304,000
Key Stage: 1 Duration: 3 year(s) 6 month(s) Type of Trial: Efficacy Trial
Completed November 2018

Maths Counts aims to support children who struggle with basic mathematics skills at Key Stage 2. It is based on the principles of the Every Child Counts Numbers Count’ programme developed by Edge Hill University. In this project, Maths Count was delivered in 30 minute sessions three times a week as a one-to-one intervention by teaching assistants. Schools had access to an online tool, which stores information about pupil knowledge, supports the planning of lesson objectives, and suggests activities and resources for each lesson. The first ten minutes of each session focused on revision of prior learning, and the next 20 minutes introduced new knowledge and skills. This project is one of a number funded by the EEF to help identify effective approaches to teaching maths

The study found that pupils doing Maths Count made more progress in maths than comparison pupils. However, this finding has moderate to low security because there were some important differences in prior attainment between the Maths Count pupils and the comparison group. In addition, there is some evidence that pupils eligible for free school meals made less progress than comparison pupils, although the security of this finding may be even lower, due to the smaller number of pupils.

The EEF is considering whether to test the project further, as part of its continuing work on improving maths outcomes. More information about using teaching assistants effectively to provide targeted support can be found in this EEF guidance report.

  1. Children who received Maths Counts made the equivalent of two additional months’ progress in general maths, on average, compared to similar pupils that did not receive the intervention. This result has a low to moderate security rating.
  2. Pupils who were eligible for free school meals made two months less progress if they took part in the intervention, compared to similar pupils who did not. This result may have lower security than the overall findings because of the smaller number of pupils.
  3. Maths Counts appeared to be more effective with the youngest (Year 3) pupils and with the lowest attainers in this age group. This result may have lower security than the overall findings because of the smaller number of pupils.
  4. Implementation appeared to be enhanced when Maths Counts had the support of school leaders who provided time and space for the intervention to take place.
  5. The key challenge for implementation was finding sufficient time to plan and deliver the lessons. Staff turnover, staff absence due to illness, and pupil absences were other barriers which led to fewer sessions conducted than planned.
ImpactThe size of the difference between pupils in this trial and other pupils
SecurityHow confident are we in this result?
Months' progress
Maths (FSM6)
Months' progress