Mathematics research review

28th May 2021

Ofsted has released a review document looking at how schools can improve the teaching of Mathematics in order to close the attainment gap in this subject, as well as identifying how to tackle the growing shortage of specialist Maths teachers in schools.

The review focuses on Ofsted’s education inspection framework (EIF) to identify factors that contribute to a high quality curriculum, assessment, pedagogy and systems for Maths. The results from the review will look at how Maths is taught in schools, with a core theme of how to prevent struggling pupils from falling further behind their peers.

The newly re-appointed Ofsted Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said: “Mathematics is an integral part of every school curriculum. It is a foundation of many disciplines and a source of interest and enjoyment in itself. It also unlocks the door to further study and employment in a vast range of fields”

Ofsted recognises that there is no singular way of achieving high-quality education in the subject. However, the review identifies some common features of successful, high-quality curriculum approaches:

Teachers engineer the best possible start for all pupils by closing the school entry gap in knowledge of basic mathematical facts, concepts, vocabulary and symbols
Pupils need regular opportunities to rehearse and apply the important mathematical facts, concepts, methods and strategies they have learned.
School leaders can develop teachers’ subject and pedagogic knowledge through opportunities to work with and learn from each other.
Throughout sequences of learning, pupils benefit from teaching that is systematic and clear.
The review concluded that the difference in the quality of Mathematics education in schools is likely to be the result of a variety of factors such as the absence of systems, possible gaps in content, instruction, rehearsal, assessment and plans for their evolution over time.

To read the review click here