Diminishing the Difference

Supporting Disadvantaged Pupils in Maths

Diminishing the Difference: a project to support disadvantaged pupils in mathematics

The Cambridgeshire Maths Team have created an ambitious project to support schools with identifying and addressing barriers to learning in mathematics for disadvantaged pupils in Key Stage 2.

The project intends to improve progress and attainment for disadvantaged children in mathematics, throughout Key Stage 2.  To achieve this, schools work with a link maths adviser to identify a group of disadvantaged pupils in Year 3, create a bespoke action plan and track the progress of the children throughout the year.

Support and training

Teachers, senior leaders and teaching assistants are invited to training sessions where the vision for the project is shared, along with relevant and up-to-date education research findings.  Maths advisers offer a range of strategies that are proven to address common barriers to learning, as well as tips for identifying and diagnosing misconceptions. A large focus for many participating schools is supporting disadvantaged pupils with improving their knowledge and recall of key number facts.  In addition to these training events, teachers are supported with in-school visits from their link maths adviser.

Throughout the year teachers are asked to submit attainment data and, at the end of the year, teachers and senior leaders are asked to complete a short 'case study'. The case study gives schools a chance to reflect on the project and provide feedback to the project leaders.

What happens after the first year?

The Diminishing the Difference project continues after the first year, with ongoing bespoke support throughout Years 4, 5 and 6.

At the start and end of each of each year, teachers and senior leaders are invited to a training event - where advisers and schools can share strategies and success stories. In between these events, schools continue to work with their link maths adviser implementing, evaluating and updating their action plan termly.

Project Impact

The first year of the project was a great success, with 88% of identified pupils making expected or better progress.  You can download and read a summary of the project findings, below.

How do we get involved?

If you work in a school that would be interested in taking part, please contact us by emailing Emma.Fuller@cambridgeshire.gov.uk 

Contact Us


If you would like to find out more about the project, or would like to express an interest in taking part in next year's project, please contact Emma Fuller