Schools recruitment opens for ‘real-world’ maths teaching trial

Teaching pupils “real-world” maths skills like estimating the cost of gas bills will be tested under new trials to gauge if they improve maths results.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has today announced six new trials to find out how best to raise attainment.

One of the trials will evaluate the Maths in Context programme – which teaches children maths in “real-world” scenarios, such as calculating the interest on a bank account.

The EEF says around a quarter of questions in GCSE maths exams involve applying maths to these contexts, but most students achieve only a grade E or F in these questions.

A total of 10,000 pupils in 130 English schools will take part in the new trial. The Money Advice Service – an organisation that provides free advice on financial decisions – has provided £700,000 to fund the trial.

Kevan Collins
Kevan Collins

Sir Kevan Collins (pictured), chief executive of the EEF, said: “Most of us would agree that developing a good level of financial literacy is important to success later in life.

“But many young people are struggling to translate the skills they learn in maths lessons into real-life contexts. Our evaluation of Maths in Context will help give teachers and schools a clearer picture of the best ways to equip young people with the practical maths skills they need to succeed.”

Three other trials, also announced today, will test different ways to improve the attainment of pupils who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL).

They are Learning Unlimited’s Family SKILLS programme, EAL in the mainstream classroom, delivered by Challenge Partners, and Integrating English, provided by Enfield Council.

The remaining two grants will focus on the Achievement for All programme delivered in primary schools across the North East.

All the new trials have today started recruiting schools to take part. The results of the evaluations will be published on the EEF website.

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