Evaluation of the Maths Excellence Fund

Key stakeholders privacy notice
Programme delivery teams privacy notice
School and college privacy notice
Students and parents privacy notice
Programme privacy notice - Inspiration Trust
Programme privacy notice - Co-op Academies Trust

What is the Maths Excellence Fund?

The Maths Excellence Fund exists to help more students join and stay on the maths excellence pathway. It was established to improve student attainment and progression in maths, increasing the number of students who are on track to succeed in A-level maths and beyond. It has a particular focus on high potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds, for whom studying maths can unlock significant opportunities.

Launched in July 2023 by its founding donors, XTX Markets and The Hg Foundation, the Fund is being overseen by Purposeful Ventures, which will manage the delivery and evaluation of programmes.

The Fund is supporting four programmes that will be led by schools, universities and charities. Programme delivery will begin in September 2024 and is expected to run for five academic years. The four programmes are:

Inspiration Trust: supporting 12 schools in East Anglia. The programme will include a range of maths enrichment activities and tutoring support delivered in schools and the wider community, including through a partnership with the University of East Anglia.

Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI): supporting 10 schools in Birmingham. The programme will develop maths leadership and teaching capacity, and provide a series of student interventions, including tutoring. The programme will be co-ordinated by a Maths Progression Lead in each school.

Co-op Academies Trust: supporting 12 schools in the North of England. Co-op Academies Trust will employ maths graduates as Maths Excellence Tutors in a dual academic and pastoral role to support some of these schools. The programme will also include training and support for maths teachers, additional maths qualifications for students and the expanded use of technology.

United Learning: supporting 14 schools in five clusters across England. The programme will include an enriched maths curriculum, targeted interventions for students and support for parents. The programme will be co-ordinated by a Leader of Maths Excellence in each school.

More information about the Fund and its programmes can be found here: www.mathsexcellencefund.org

What will the evaluation involve?

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is independently evaluating the four programmes outlined above over the first two years of their programme delivery. The aim of the evaluation is to improve understanding of the activities that support student attainment and progress in maths. The evaluation will focus on how the programmes are delivered in schools/colleges, how they support attainment, progress and engagement in maths, and what teachers and students think about them.

Activities will include:  

  • An online survey of participating students at the start and end of the programme to explore their enjoyment of maths, their aspirations/choices, their perceived progress, and their views on programme activities (September 2024, June/July 2025, June/July 2026) 
  • A maths context survey for the Heads of Maths in each school/college, to gain an understanding of maths teaching and learning in their institutions (June-July 2024, June-July 2025 and June-July 2026) 
  • Teacher surveys, to explore their maths subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, their confidence in teaching maths, and their experiences of the programme (September 2024 and June/July 2026) 
  • Interviews with the programme maths lead (sometimes referred to as ‘champion’ or ‘advocate’), to explore their participation in the programme and how it is impacting on their department, including curriculum development, teacher professional development, teaching and learning (twice per academic year)
  • Interviews with other key stakeholders involved in the individual programmes, which could include Head of Maths, maths teachers, external providers of activities (such as maths circles) (annually) 
  • The collection of monitoring data, including student characteristics, student participation in programme activities, maths choice/attainment data, maths-related destinations data, participation of staff in programme activities, and the characteristics of the school/colleges engaged in the programme (on-going during delivery).

To maximise learning across the four programmes there will be core evaluation activities across all programmes, but these will include bespoke questions and analysis relevant to each individual programme.

The evaluation report is expected at the end of 2026.

For more information about the evaluation and how personal data will be collected and processed, please read the relevant privacy notice(s) at the top of this page.