Numeracy skills are essential for everyday life and a foundation for careers in technology, science, engineering, among a host of others. Improving the attainment of children in mathematics is a founding aim of the EEF and we have therefore funded a large number of projects dedicated to helping schools understand effective ways of teaching numeracy.

The EEF is also in the process of commissioning a guidance report to provide evidence-based recommendations to teachers on the effective teaching of maths which will be available in this section once completed.

This page presents evidence on numeracy from the Teaching and Learning Toolkit alongside the results from EEF projects investigating approaches to teaching numeracy. 

Evidence Summary

The Teaching and Learning Toolkit does not include a strand specifically on numeracy. However, it provides useful evidence summaries for a number of teaching and learning strategies that can be effective in teaching numeracy as well as other subjects. These suggest that an effective approach to developing numeracy skills is likely to involve a mix of whole class teaching, small group and one-one tuition, alongside Teaching Assistants delivering structured interventions in a targeted manner.

The results from EEF projects focusing on maths provide useful evidence for schools looking to invest in specific interventions. Two EEF numeracy projects which have delivered positive findings are Improving Numeracy & Literacy project, and Catch Up Numeracy. Both projects found small positive effects for the approaches adopted.

Catch Up Numeracy is a Teaching Assistant-led, one-to-one intervention for learners who are struggling with numeracy. It consists of two 15-minute sessions per week, delivered by teaching assistants (TAs). The approach is based on research indicating that numeracy is not a single skill, but a composite of several component skills that are relatively discrete. The intervention breaks numeracy down into ten elements, including counting verbally, counting objects, word problems and estimation. The positive impact on pupils receiving the intervention in our project was in line with the evidence from a number of other EEF projects examining the impact of TAs delivering structured interventions in small group settings.

Improving Numeracy & Literacy focused on teaching the logical principles of maths in Key Stage 1 and included resources and computer games. There was a positive impact on maths outcomes for the pupils involved and teachers found the interventions straightforward to implement, although most agreed there was too much content to deliver in one hour per week and so made various adaptations to their delivery.


The guidance report on effective teaching of maths will be available in this section once completed.