Count on Us Secondary Challenge

The Jack Petchey Count on Us Secondary Challenge is an exciting pan-London maths programme working with secondary schools to engage students in a range of maths activities to challenge, motivate and inspire. Our unique maths programme, with its focus on team work and collaboration, has been run in classrooms and clubs across London’s schools, even during the period of school closures.

In 2020, 6,131 students across 71 schools took part in the Challenge, with 87% of secondary teachers stating improved attitude towards maths.

The Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge is supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation and delivered by The Maths Zone.

Count on Us Secondary Maths Challenge 2019
“Really engaging and helped students improve their problem solving skills and teamwork. Students have enjoyed the experience and stretched themselves in mathematics outside of the classroom.”

– Acton High School, Ealing

“This programme is great for improving mathematical confidence, problem solving-abilities and demonstrating that the study of mathematics is not purely a discipline which is about doing well on a test paper.”

– Uxbridge High School


By combining a series of mental arithmetic and problem solving tasks, the programme aims to make maths fun and boost confidence around learning as well as improving academic attainment, ultimately improving life chances and helping young people make a positive contribution to society.

Participating schools benefit from teacher training, a wide range of maths resources to support the Count on Us activities and accompanying teacher and student workbooks. The resources are implemented in classrooms and maths clubs,  with students honing their skills via in-school or inter-school tournaments. Teams are then selected, with five students chosen to represent their school in the Heats, with the highest scoring teams making it through to the Final.

For 2021/22, we know that supporting the recovery and catch-up agenda in schools is still a big priority. Therefore, we will be:

  • mapping activities directly to the curriculum focusing on a whole department approach
  • introducing a new probability and statistics activity
  • starting earlier in the academic year.

Our focus on highly motivating, collaborative maths activities remains central to the programme.


You will be required to:

  • Pay a fee for participation, details of which will be announced later this year. This will include registration, school resource kit, training / support and participation in events. The fee for multi-schools signing up through a Multi Academy Trust (or Borough Partnership) will be at a reduced rate and reflects their ongoing coordination role with activities, finance and admin.
  • Select a lead teacher and up to one other teacher to attend a training session and run the programme in your school.
  • Set up opportunities to use the Count on Us Challenge activities in class and in clubs with at least 60 students from Years 7, 8 and 9
  • Set up an in/inter-school tournament to prepare for the Heats
  • Select a team of 5 students for the Heats
  • Take part in the Heats, with the highest scoring schools qualifying for the final at a prestigious location.

Our partners

A huge thank you to our funders and delivery partners for supporting Count on Us. We could not run the programme without you.