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About Centres for Excellence in Maths

The Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) programme is a national improvement project aimed at delivering a step-change in maths teaching up to Level 2 in post-16 settings. It is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) which has chosen the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), the national workforce development body for the Further Education (FE) and Training sector, to manage and lead this programme on its behalf.

Over the course of the programme, the ETF will work with a range of expert delivery partners and the 21 Centres to:

  • Design new and improved teaching approaches
  • Develop quality teaching resources to build teachers’ skills
  • Spread best practice across the country through maths networks

This will help to increase the number of young people leaving compulsory education with the necessary maths skills up to GCSE and Functional Skills level. This is to improve their employability and engagement with further learning.

The programme’s ambition is to improve maths outcomes for students with low prior attainment up to Level 2. This is being undertaken in a range of ways:

  • The establishment of 21 Centres for Excellence in Maths: The selected FE Centres have the commitment, capacity and system leadership skills required to drive innovation and improvement in both their institution and beyond
  • Local networks of partners for each Centre: Organisations are encouraged to partner with the Centres’ to share practice, learn from each other and from national activity. This is to ensure the programme reaches and benefits the entire post-16 Further Education sector
  • Evidence gathering: The delivery partnership includes organisations targeting collation and creation of evidence and research. This is to better inform Centres and the wider sector of what interventions and actions may work well
  • Resources and handbooks: Several evidence-based documents and resources will be developed and gathered to help inform teaching, and to support the trialling of some key methods or ideas. They will be freely available to all teachers and providers in the sector
  • Trials and research: The Centres and the University of Nottingham will work together to carry out a range of research trials looking at aspects of the four themes
  • Training and Development: The programme provides CPD for the Centres, wider training will be offered to upskill teachers in the developed methods and learnings
  • Support and challenge: The Centres, partner providers and the wider sector will be both supported and challenged to change their practices with the goal of improving learner outcomes

For more information, please visit the national CfEM programme website.