Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status
Results overdue

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
The NCETM Key Stage 3 (KS3) Multiplicative Reasoning Project (MRP) aims to improve the teaching of mathematics at KS3. We aim to test the impact of the programme, why/how the programme worked or didn't work, and whether the programme is cost effective.

Who can participate?
Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils in 60 secondary schools in England who are taught mathematics by one of two nominated 'core' mathematics teachers.

What does the study involve?
Each school was asked to nominate two core KS3 mathematics teachers and provide detail on the Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 pupils that the two nominated teachers taught. Initial data from Key Stage 2 will be obtained via the National Pupil Database (NPD) for all pupils agreeing to participate. The 60 participating schools will be randomly assigned to become intervention or control schools (30 in each). Within the 30 intervention schools, the two nominated core teachers will receive the NCETM multiplicative reasoning project. Outcome data will be collected in all 60 schools in June 2014. Progress between the start of the study and outcomes for pupils in the intervention schools will be compared with that observed for pupils in the control schools.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Pupils in the intervention group may improve their mathematical skills. Some of these benefits may spill over from the intervention group to other pupils (friends/siblings). There are no risks for participants.

Where is the study run from?
The study will take place in 60 secondary schools across England.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run?
The study started in September 2013 and will run until the end of the 2013/14 academic year.

Who is funding the study?
The Department for Education (UK).

Who is the main contact?
Sean Demack (Trial Director/ Statistical Lead) -
Mark Boylan (Overall Study Director & Process Evaluation Lead) -

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Mr Sean Demack


Contact details

Centre for Eductation & Inclusion Research (CEIR)
Sheffield Hallam University
City Campus - Unit 7
Science Park
S1 1WB
United Kingdom
+44 114 225 6055

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A randomised control trial evaluation of a National Centre for Excellence in the teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) initiative focusing on multiplicative reasoning in Key Stage 3.



Study hypothesis

Research Questions:
1. What is the impact of a National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) professional development programme around multiplicative reasoning on pupil progress and attainment in mathematics?
2. How does the NCETM multiplicative reasoning project (MRP) operate to produce these outcomes?

Ethics approval

Sheffield Hallam University Ethics Committee, 10/09/2013, ref. Am/SW/24C-2013

Study design

Three level clustered randomised controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a participant information sheet


No condition - this is an educational RCT


Schools were clustered into 3 geographical areas with 20 secondary schools in each area. Prior to randomisation, schools were stratified into relatively high attaining and low attaining groups. Within the three areas, using the attainment stratification scheme, 10 schools were randomly selected to receive the Multiplicative Reasoning Project intervention and the remaining 10 schools formed a ‘business as usual’ control group. A total of 60 schools are involved - 30 intervention and 30 control schools. Randomisation took place in October 2013 and after schools had provided details of two Key Stage 3 teachers and provided class lists of the Key Stage 3 mathematics classes that they taught.

Following randomisation, the 30 intervention schools began the MRP intervention by attending training events run by the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM).

Key Stage 2 Mathematics will form the pre-test measure for the planned analyses. In addition to an intervention/control identifier, other covariates included in the planned analyses are gender and FSM (whether a participant is eligible and claiming free school meals – a proxy for socioeconomic position).

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Progress in Mathematics scores at age 11/12 (PIM12), age 12/13 (PIM13), age 13/14 (PIM14)

Secondary outcome measures

Baseline Covariate (Pre-test): Key Stage 2 Mathematics Score

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Pupils listed as being taught by the two nominated core mathematics teachers at the start of the study (prior to randomisation).

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

9,000 pupils and 120 key stage 3 core teachers in 60 secondary schools in England

Participant exclusion criteria

Any pupils (or their parents) who complete an opt-out consent form will not be included.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Centre for Eductation & Inclusion Research (CEIR)
S1 1WB
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Department for Education (UK)

Sponsor details

Department for Education
2 St Paul's Place
125 Norfolk Street
S1 2JF
United Kingdom
+44 370 000 2288

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Department for Education (DfE) (UK) - Multiplicative reasoning professional development programme evaluation project; Reference: EOR/SBU/ 2013007

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

07/03/2017: No publications found in PubMed, verifying study status with principal investigator