Raising standards in maths

Raising standards through recruitment, staff development and the provision of effective learning resources.


If you are a manager charged with developing maths (and English) provision the Excellence Gateway offers you a variety of supporting resources to smooth the process.  We present here a selection of those but more are available through searching the main Gateway site.

For courses available from the ETF to support English teaching please visit 


Also new from OFSTED

Increasing provision in English and mathematics through strategic planning

Four good practice case studies of further education and skills providers offering 16–19 study programmes: 


The 16 to 19 study programmes for all young people of this age group, apart from apprentices, require that all students without a GCSE at grade C or above in English and/or mathematics should continue to study these subjects. This has been a condition of funding for each of these students since September 2014. 




Maths and English Good Practice Guide

A maths and English Good Practice Guide has been launched by West Suffolk College following two very successful conferences focussing on leadership in those subjects.

Delegates from across the country, who wanted to share the college’s strategy for GCSE resit success, contributed to the guide which is now available on a new maths and English website: https://allaboutme.wsc.ac.uk/

A guide to English and maths in apprenticeships: Playbook

shows some of the content of the resource

High quality delivery of English and Mathematics programmes is essential for all learners and employersand more urgent given the changes to GCSEs . This guide sets out the key issues that all providers need to consider. This guide will help you review the issues and set out a clear plan as to how each business will approach the new challenges. This guide has been produced in a playbook format for ease of use.

A guide to delivering adult skills provision to the unemployed: Playbook

This guide pulls together all the various complex strands which go to make up the employability and skills offer to unemployed people. It also provides hints and tips to help providers make sense of those strands and consider how they might best respond to the challenges posed by the ongoing changes to the Adult Skills programmes. It is in interactive 'playbook' format.

Building Higher-Level Skills Provision: Playbook

cover of playbook showing teacher before a class of learners

This guide is designed to support directors, chief executives and senior managers of independent training providers (ITPs) and as they work to establish their own provision for developing the higher-level skills of current and future learners. It is in playbook format allowing users to find their own route through the content.

Leading GCSE mathematics and English for post-16 learners

This website, developed with funding from the Education and Training Foundation, provides a variety of information, guidance and resources for senior leaders and governors to help increase the GCSE English and mathematics capacity in the post-16 sector. 

Employability starter kit

This kit supports those who are developing employability provision in response to learners seeking work, those at risk of redundancy and those who are in work but need to improve their skills to sustain their employment and make progress.

Flexible models starter kit

This starter kit provides support and guidance, information and resources for developing and delivering flexible models of delivery for literacy, language and numeracy (LLN). It includes the development of blended learning approaches.

Embedding literacy, language and numeracy starter kit

The aim of the Embedding LLN Starter Kit is to provide support and guidance on the embedding of LLN for less experienced providers. It aims to support developments that will improve the quality of your embedded LLN offer and improve learner success.

Using the self assessment process to improve the quality of English and maths provision

The aim of this module is to support managers with the development of the self-assessment report (SAR); and to consider how to use the SAR as a monitoring and quality assurance/improvement tool.

Although primarily aimed at practitioners (teachers, trainers, assessors), both English and maths and vocational it will also be of interest to senior staff with whole organisation responsibility for English and maths/functional skills; curriculum managers; quality and HR managers.

Preparation for inspection with an English and maths focus

The aim of the CPD module is to support teachers, trainers, assessors with the requirements of the Common Inspection Framework and the inspection process (as revised in June 2012) in relation to the teaching of English and maths.

Although primarily aimed at practitioners (teachers, trainers, assessors), both English and maths and vocational it will also be of interest to senior staff with whole organisation responsibility for English and maths/functional skills; curriculum managers; quality and HR managers.

Professional Development Planning Starter Kit

This range of resources, will help you plan professional development for your staff in literacy, language (ESOL) and numeracy (LLN). 

Whole organisation approach starter kit

This resource offers guidance to providers and identifies the relevant starter kits to support different aspects of a whole organisation approach. You can work through the WOA framework, begin with any section of it, or go straight to the individual starter kits.