We sat down with students from Nelson Primary School in Newham, and talked about their feelings towards maths, their ambitions, and how we have supported them.

Education and Skills

Helping young Londoners to stay on track at school.

Good numeracy drives social mobility and wellbeing. However, more than 1 in 4 children currently start secondary school behind in maths. Lost learning during the pandemic has exacerbated an already stark attainment gap in maths and financial literacy between students from low and high-income backgrounds.

Studies evidence that attitudes to maths are one of the most important factors in young people’s attainment in the subject. Whilst schools are struggling with limited resources and families are dealing with the immediate pressures of the cost of living crisis, too many young people are at risk of never developing this vital skill, or even believing they can.

Count on Us

Count on Us is our London-wide numeracy programme designed to make maths fun and positively help re-engage children at risk of falling behind. We work with primary schools (Years 4 and 5) and secondary schools (Years 7, 8 and 9) and prioritise those that have a high percentage of students on free school meals. Using a series of fun games, we challenge and motivate children, whilst developing their curriculum-based maths skills.

The programme runs in schools throughout the academic year, culminating in an exciting pan-London maths tournament and Final at City Hall. This unique tournament celebrates maths achievement, boosting the confidence of the children who compete, and raising the profile of maths in schools across London.


This year we have:

  1. Trained and empowered 122 teachers to run the programme in their schools and supported them with new ideas and tools to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving and mathematical fluency among their students.
  2. Welcomed 386 young people who proudly represented their school at the Count on Us Heats and Finals.
  3.  Worked with teachers to identify a need for additional interventions for the least confident students. We are now developing a ‘Real World Maths’ pilot which will offer business volunteer-led sessions in the workplace in 2023.
During 2021/22:


3,973 pupils took part in the Count on Us Primary Maths Challenge, and 3,306 students in the Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge across 115 schools


95% of teachers agreed Count on Us improves attitudes towards maths


83% of teachers agreed it improves performance in maths

“I have learnt to improve my critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills”


“The children have really enjoyed the fact that the different areas don’t all feel like ‘maths’ as such. Children who don’t usually get picked for different competitions were over the moon!”


“My favourite part was the codebreaking and having the confidence and privilege to compete today.”