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A review of interventions to improve primary school maths achievement

Researchers: Dr Victoria Simms | Dr Camilla Gilmore ...

Project overview

Mathematical achievement in the primary years is an important predictor of future academic achievement, access to employment opportunities and health outcomes. Research suggests that many children fail to perform to their full capabilities in mathematics. Many interventions have been proposed to improve mathematics learning, but there is a lack of objective evidence about how effective these interventions are.

This project will review all possible sources of research on interventions designed to help children who may be underachieving in mathematics. These interventions will not have been targeted at children who have identified mathematical difficulties, but to children with wide-ranging mathematical performance.

This systematic review will identify practices that may have the most benefit for large groups of children. Both individually administered and whole-class based interventions will be included in the review. Where possible, the team will also compare the success of these interventions.

This project aims to inform teaching practice and support mathematical learning in the classroom. The outputs of the project will include a handbook and website for teachers, as well as training events for educational practitioners and policy makers. These events will be digitally recorded and shared online, to enable wide-access to the findings of the project.  

Latest on this project


  • Dr Victoria Simms
    University of Ulster
  • Dr Camilla Gilmore
    Loughborough University
  • Dr Seaneen Sloan
    University College Dublin

  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.