minister visits maths champions setting

Minister visits nursery to find out about Maths Champions initiative 

Children, Families and Wellbeing Minister David Johnston OBE visited a nursery in Surbiton to find out about how the Maths Champions programme is supporting young children’s learning.

The Minister took a tour of Advantage Day Nursery to see close up how early years Maths Champions are improving children’s outcomes in numeracy and language skills.

The programme run by National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) trains up a member of staff as the “Maths Champion” who in turn supports, motivates and inspires staff within their setting. They ensure that maths learning is embedded in their practice.

Hazel Moody, Managing Director of Advantage Day Nursery and NDNA trustee and NDNA’s Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE welcomed the Minister who spoke to several champions and toured the nursery to sample some of the activities they were doing with the children.

Hazel said: “It was a lovely opportunity to talk with the Minister about the impact of the Maths Champion programme and other current early years hot topics. He talked with the children and our Maths Champions, finding out first-hand the importance of practitioner confidence when teaching maths to young children.

“The Minister even had the opportunity to try out maths concepts of speed and force when he had a turn on our helter skelter slide.”

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) provided funding for the Maths Champions programme, secured through the Department for Education’s Accelerator Fund 2023, to enable more than 400 nurseries to access the training programme.

An evaluation by EEF reported that children in settings on the programme made on average three months’ additional progress in maths and language development compared with those who were not. Evidence also suggested that children from disadvantaged backgrounds made on average up to six months’ additional progress in maths and language development as a result of the programme.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: “The Minister was very interested to see the results of the Maths Champions programme in action and enjoyed spending time with the children.

“It’s vital that training programmes like Maths Champions are accessible to as many settings as possible so that all children can benefit from knowledgeable practitioners. We hope that we can engage more funding for these types of training programmes in the future and thank the Minister and DfE for their commitment to supporting children’s outcomes.”

Find out more about our Maths Champions programme here.

  • UK

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