EEF grants £4.6m for teaching assistants to boost pupils’ maths skills

Almost £4.6m will be handed to universities and education charities to help teaching assistants boost pupils’ number and maths skills.

The Education Endowment Foundation will fund 13 projects, six of which will receive match funding from the Department for Education, aimed at helping teaching assistants of improve pupils’ number knowledge and mental maths.

Most of the beneficiaries of the grants are universities or charities, with only one school on the list, and one further education college.

The University of Oxford will be the largest beneficiary, receiving £974,000 for two projects to help 8,700 pupils. One of those projects will involve teaching assistants using internet games to help year 3 pupils improve their working memories, while the other will be based around mathematical reasoning.

The literacy and numeracy charity Catch-up will receive more than £550,000 to fund a second, larger trial of a one-to-one teaching assistant-led intervention model already tested by the EEF with “positive results”.

Edge Hill University’s “1stClass@Number” project will give teaching assistants six half-days of training and lesson plans for a “Post Office-themed” intervention for year 2 pupils in which they will use letters, parcels and house numbers to support their maths skills.

The schools network SSAT will be handed £440,000 to work with the University of Melbourne, Al Media and 6,300 youngsters on a “visible classroom” project.

Other recipients of the EEF grants include Cornwall College and the National Day Nurseries Association.

At the same time, the EEF and DfE will joint-fund projects run by Project Salus, School 21, the Universities of Portsmouth and Sussex and Lady Johanna Thornhill Primary school. The partnership is based on the government’s character education drive, which the EEF claims these specific projects will aid.

The EEF was launched in 2010 by Michael Gove, who claimed at the time that it was being established from money set aside when the government “took the decision not to increase the number of free school meals”.


The full breakdown of grants is as follows: –


Grants funded by the EEF

RETAIN (Cornwall College) – £384,000

1stClass@Number (Edge Hill) – £287,000

Maths Champions (National Day Nurseries Association) – £380,000

Working Memory (University of Oxford) – £592,000

Catch up Numeracy (Catch up) – £558,000

Visible Classroom (SSAT) – £440,000

Mathematical Reasoning (University of Oxford) – £382,000

Subtotal – £3,023,000 (all from the EEF)


Grants with DfE match-funding

Zippy’s Friends (Partnership for Children) – £187,000

FRIENDS (Project Salus) – £454,000

Oracy Skills Framework (School 21) – £169,000

Changing Mindsets (Uni. Of Portsmouth) – £290,000

University of Sussex – £327,000

Positive Action (Lady Johanna Thornhill Primary School) – £141,000

Subtotal – £1,568,000 (£784,000 from the DfE)

Total: £4,591,000

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