Centre for Research in Mathematics Education (CRME)


Project Information 

Start Date

June 2017

Principal investigator

Geoff Wake



End Date

March 2020


Education Endowment Foundation


Project Summary 

 The Maths-for-Life project is investigating the effectiveness of a professional development programme that aims to improve outcomes in GCSE resit examinations. It is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.

The project builds on previous work by the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education in Nottingham that has developed a wide range of resources to support dialogic teaching based on provoking cognitive conflict in key areas of mathematical thinking. In particular it uses materials from the Standards Unit Box (Improving Learning in Mathematics) and other resources developed over many years by Malcolm Swan and colleagues.

In the first phase of the project, 2017-18, a team of maths leads drawn from colleges and schools in the post-16 sector will work with the Nottingham team to develop the professional development programme. This will focus on five key areas of the GCSE curriculum that underpin learning of mathematics and which are proven to present students with difficulties and affect GCSE performance. It will also develop five 'signature' pedagogies that support dialogic teaching. The programme will encourage collaborative work with colleagues by including a modified element of lesson study.

The second year of the project, 2018-19, will see a randomised controlled trial of the professional development programme. This will involve approximately 50 teachers in the intervention programme led by the lead teachers developed in phase one. The trial will involve an equivalent number of teachers’ students who will experience 'business as usual'. 
The intention is to determine the effectiveness of the approach in improving resit students' GCSE outcomes in mathematics and to then continue the programme beyond the trial.

For more information contact Geoff Wake. To register an interest in the project and potential involvement in the trial please contact Kanchana Minson.


Centre for Research in Mathematics Education

School of Education
University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

+44 (0)115 951 4543