CfEM resources and evidence hub

Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) ran as a five-year national improvement programme aimed at delivering sustained improvements in maths outcomes for 16-19-year-olds, up to Level 2, in post-16 settings.

Funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and delivered by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and partners, the CfEM project explored what works for teachers and students in the Further Education (FE) and Training sector – focusing particularly on an adapted maths mastery approach suitable for post-16 learners.

Central to the project was the collaboration with and between 21 colleges, who facilitated local provider networks, participated in research, developed resources, and both delivered and participated in a range of professional development activities.

The project ended in March 2023. This online platform provides a legacy of resources and learning from the programme for the sector, developed by FE for FE.

Maths mastery

Maths mastery is a teaching and learning approach that aims for learners to develop a deep understanding of maths, rather than being able to memorise key procedures or resort to rote learning. It is underpinned by the notion that all learners, given enough time, effort and the right support, can succeed at maths.

The CfEM approach to teaching for mastery in FE is defined in terms of five key principles, as shown in the diagram.  For further information about these principles, click on the diagram, or read Mastery Teaching in Further Education: a handbook for practitioners which provides a more detailed discussion of the CfEM approach.

Mastery teaching in FE - handbook - front cover image
Diagram showing the 5 key principles of teaching for mastery (1. Develop an understanding of mathematical structure. 2. Value and build on students' prior learning. 3. Prioritise curriculum coherence and connections. 4. Develop both understanding and fluency in mathematics. 5. Develop a collaborative culture in whihc everyone believes everyone can succeed.

Further handbooks

Four additional practitioner handbooks were created early in the project in relation to the four original themes of CfEM, and can be accessed:

How to use this page

This resources and evidence hub comprises the four sections which are detailed and can be accessed below.

Not all sections are currently populated. We will be adding further content between now and the beginning of May.

CfEM resources

two teachers presenting work on a flipchart

Teaching for Mastery: Classroom resources

Including schemes of learning, mastery lessons, and guidance on using mastery approaches.
teachers viewing research presentation


From research carried out during the CfEM projects about ‘what works in FE maths.’

teachers looking at items on a flipchart

Professional Development

Guidance on the use of action research and lesson study to promote collaboration between teachers.
Technical student and a teacher

The Whole College Approach

How to plan and implement organisational change that will lead to improved mathematical outcomes.