Circle_our programmes

Core Maths Support Programme

Education Development Trust delivered the Core Maths Support Programme (2014-2017) on behalf of the Department for Education introducing brand new, post-16 maths qualifications into schools across England.


The Core Maths Support Programme (CMSP) formed part of the UK government's plan to increase participation and raise standards in mathematics education for post-16 students. Introducing a suite of maths qualifications under the umbrella term Core Maths, the post-16 qualifications were designed to equip students with the mathematical skills needed for work, study and life. The qualifications offered an alternative for those achieving a grade C or above at GCSE but who weren’t intending on studying A-level maths.

The CMSP team had three key priorities to give a sharp focus to its activities:

1. train and support teachers as they begin to teach Core Maths;

2. increase the number of centres where Core Maths is taught, and increase the number of students taking Core Maths;

3. continue to raise the profile of Core Maths to secure additional recognition and endorsement from higher education and employers.

Rapid and cost-effective national mobilisation

Delivery of the programme relied on rapid and cost-effective national mobilisation and so the method adopted to best deliver these priorities was to use a network of the most mathematically successful Teaching Schools and colleges as key delivery agents. With input from world-leading experts in maths education, we provided a comprehensive package of high quality, individualised training and support to a cohort of Core Maths leads appointed from these partner schools and colleges. With support from a small central team, these leads led the change agenda. Distributed across England, they provided local, contextually relevant professional development to teachers and school leaders implementing Core Maths.

This national network of Core Maths leads allowed us to implement an innovative approach to professional development. Adapted from the proven lesson study methodology, teachers work collaboratively to develop new skills in teaching maths through problem-solving activities.

Core Maths qualifications continue to be offered by centres across England today. The success of our approach can be seen in the results achieved during the 3-year programme: at the close of the programme, there were more than 600 known centres across the UK teaching Core Maths, and the programme trained more than 1,000 teachers. During the course of the programme, 2,931 students studied and sat Core Maths examinations.

In addition to this, our influence resulted in more than 40 top universities releasing statements of endorsement of Core Maths as a qualification, understanding the value of students continuing to study maths post-16. This also included a joint statement of endorsement from the prestigious Russell Group.