Primary Work Groups

Primary Mastery Specialist Programme

Applications for Cohort 5 of our Primary Mastery Specialist Programme (2019/20) have just closed. Information about the application process for the 2020/21 programme will be added here once these are announced.

Primary Teaching for Mastery Work Groups 2019/20

In 2019 the 35 Maths Hubs across England (co-ordinated by the NCETM) are seeking to recruit primary schools to take part in a programme of professional development in 2019-2020, designed to support schools in implementing a teaching for mastery approach. The NCETM have just announced that they have opened a second round of applications for this and it is now open and applications are being accepted. The deadline for the second round of applications is 10th June 2019.

Are you a primary teacher interested in developing confident mathematicians in your class?  Do you want to take part in high-quality, collaborative CPD which benefits you and your school? Join one of our Teaching for Mastery work groups!

We are looking for around 100 schools, for a year-long programme of professional development, led by trained Mastery Specialists.  There is no charge for participation in the programme and schools receive £1000 as a contribution towards cover costs.  They are also eligible to claim financial help towards the cost of buying some maths textbooks.

This work group is suitable for schools interested in implementing a teaching for mastery approach to maths.  Work groups (sometimes known as Teacher Research Groups or TRGs) meet regularly to plan, observe and discuss teaching for mastery.  In between meetings, teachers explore mastery approaches in their own classrooms and across their school. Work groups run for a year initially, with many continuing beyond the first year as mastery is embedded in their schools.

Support is provided from a local classroom-based Mastery Specialist who leads the group.  This model of professional development involves hands-on learning and peer-to-peer support.  It is evidence-based and designed to support substantial long-term change.


More information including finding out more from teachers already involved in the programme can be found on the NCETM website here.

Mastery Readiness Programme

The Mastery Readiness Programme is for schools that want to adopt teaching for mastery in Maths, but would benefit from a staged approach.

This programme is for schools who have a commitment to teaching for mastery approach long term but who currently need additional support for improving mathematics teaching, learning and leadership.  Although the participation involves two teachers attending events outside of the school, it is expected that these two teachers have the opportunity to lead development across the whole school.  We are looking to recruit schools for our Work Groups, each involving up to eight schools.


Who can apply

Mastery Readiness is designed for schools who are not yet in a position to develop teaching for mastery but want to in the future. The Work Groups are intended for schools in the following circumstances:

  •  Have not been part of a TfM Work Group previously (Essential)


And at least one of the following:

  •  Has been judged at RI or Inadequate for at least their most recent Ofsted inspection
  •  Has low progress or attainment data for mathematics across the school
  •  Has been identified, by their Local Authority, as being suitable for the programme
  •  Is in an area of low social mobility such as Opportunity Areas, Category 5/6 areas
  •  Identifies as needing additional support for leadership of mathematics
  •  Has a high turnover of staff, meaning that the implementation of sustained change can be difficult
  •  Another identifiable reason for being unable to engage in developing Teaching for Mastery


Completing the Mastery Readiness Programme usually takes a year.  After this, schools are prioritised for a place on the Teaching for Mastery programme. As part of this programme, they will benefit from two further years of support.


More information about what is involved, the benefits and expectations of participating schools and an application form can be found here.

We will announce details of further Primary Work Groups soon.