Intervention details

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Catch Up Numeracy

Limited for Primary maths
UK Evaluated in the UK

Intervention description

Catch Up Numeracy is a one-to-one mathematics intervention for pupils struggling with numeracy (with a number/maths age of 6-11). Each session includes explanation, modelling, activity, discussion, questioning and recording.The programme also includes a bank of assessments which can be used to monitor progress, set targets and identify the needs of individual pupils.

Staffing requirements

15 minute sessions delivered twice weekly by teachers, teaching assistants or mentors. A coordinator for each school.

Professional development/training

A complete training and support package for each intervention, centred on 3 half-day training sessions for the staff who will deliver the intervention. A minimum of 2 staff are trained in addition to the coordinator, to increase flexibility.

Evidence Summary

The Education Endowment Foundation ran a project investigating the effectiveness of Catch Up Numeracy, which found that one-to-one support by teaching assistants led to a noticeable improvement in numeracy skills at primary level with a mean effect size of +0.21. There was little evidence that Catch Up Numeracy provided any additional gains in numeracy outcomes over and above those from one-to-one teaching itself.

Limited for Primary maths
No. of studies 1
No. of students 216
Average effect size +0.21

Key research

The Education Endowment Foundation efficacy study (2013) demonstrates that one to one teaching with TAs is an effective strategy to increase numeracy skills in Year 2-6 pupils. Sub-group analysis did not identify any differential effects for pupil gender or eligibility for free school meals.

The EEF ran a further project testing whether Catch Up Numeracy has a clear impact over and above the effect of typical one-to-one support by teaching assistants. This evaluation had a low security rating and the results have not been included in the E4I rating. The following factors reduced the security of the trial: 17% of the pupils who started the trial were not included in the final analysis; there were some important differences in prior attainment between the pupils in Catch Up Numeracy schools and those in the active control group; in addition, there was evidence of a ‘floor effect’ in the tests, which made it more difficult to capture and compare achievement for lower attaining pupils (who are the target pupils for this intervention), and thus harder to accurately estimate the size of the impact of Catch Up Numeracy.

Key stages

  • Key Stage 1
  • Key Stage 2
  • Key Stage 3

Targeted groups

  • Low-achieving pupils


£395 per trainee, per intervention. Bundles available

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