Participating in the project

The Maths-4-Life professional development programme is designed to improve GCSE student re-sit pass rates in mathematics by enhancing dialogic teaching.

At the heart of dialogic teaching is the aim to harness the power of talk to stimulate and extend students’ thinking and advance their learning and understanding. It helps the teacher more precisely to diagnose students’ needs, frame their learning tasks and assess their progress.

As part of the programme teachers will collaborate within local networks to trial 5 mathematics lessons over the course of a year, starting in October 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will colleges and schools receive?

Teachers from colleges that are randomly allocated to the intervention group will take part in the equivalent of 5 days of professional development.  During this time they will work in local collaborative research groups to trial 5 lessons based around 5 key topics and 5 key pedagogies.

Colleges and schools that are randomly allocated to the control group will receive £1000 in lieu of the Maths-4-Life training.

All colleges and schools will be committed to providing data to evaluate the programme.

What is a Randomised Controlled Trial?

A randomised controlled trial (or RCT) is a trial which aims to reduce bias when testing a new intervention.

Many other approaches are susceptible to selection bias which  occur because the method of selecting schools to receive an intervention is related to outcome. Consequently, any difference observed between a group receiving an intervention and a group not receiving the intervention may be due to the selection characteristic rather than the intervention itself. An RCT escapes the problem of selection bias by randomly allocating participants to either the group receiving the intervention or to a group receiving normal practice as the control group. As each school or student has the same probability of getting the intervention this abolishes selection bias.  The different comparison groups allow the researchers to determine any effects of the intervention when compared with the control group, while other variables are kept constant.

You can read more about RCTs by clicking on this link.


What is required of Colleges and Schools?

Once colleges and schools have registered an interest and been accepted into the programme they will be asked to complete a Memorandum of Understanding by June 2018.  This will provide agreement on the role and expectations of all parties involved in the trial.

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding there will be an expectation that colleges and schools provide data that allows evaluation of the Maths-4-Life programme. This will include the unique pupil numbers and GCSE results of students that are to re-sit the GCSE mathematics exam in the Summer of 2019.

The participating teacher will need to have support from their college leadership in order to ensure:

  • the completion of the Memorandum of Understanding;
  • commitment to participating in all the professional development days (intervention group only);
  • commitment to providing student data (intervention or control groups).


If you would like to know more, or to register an interest, please use the form on the Contact Us page.