Liverpool Counts Quality Mark


Challenging negative attitudes towards numeracy and mathematics

“We strongly believe that the key to improving outcomes – educational, social and work related  – for our young people is to focus on and challenge poor and negative attitudes towards numeracy and mathematics in schools, at home, in local communities and in the media.”

National Numeracy Challenge

“Good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health”.

Andreas Schleicher – Education Director OECD

“We firmly believe that if we tackle the ‘can’t do maths’ culture in our schools and communities with a challenging, consistent and persistent approach, we will improve the educational and employment outcomes for the young people of Liverpool “.

Judith Lang and Dave Carden – Liverpool Counts


Background / Introduction

The Liverpool Counts Quality Mark is part of a varied programme of strategies targeted at improving maths results for the city’s children. The specific remit of the Quality Mark is to tackle the negative attitudes which are prevalent in many areas of our society towards numeracy and mathematics. We aim to challenge these widely held views and promote a culture where people readily understand the impact good numeracy skills and mathematics qualifications can have on the social, financial, health and employment aspects of their lives.

We also aim to support teachers and other adults in our schools to encourage pupils to make connections in their numeracy and mathematics lessons to real life contexts and with other areas of their school experiences.

Quality Mark criteria

The assessment criteria are grouped under six key themes. The Champions are tasked to identify and assign relevant pieces of evidence to the criteria and through a self-assessment and best fit process, decide which award level (Bronze, Silver or Gold) they are currently working at.

Whilst the LCQM criteria have been designed to support all schools, it is important that your self-evaluation is set in the context of your own school. You will need to apply and interpret the criteria in the context of your own setting.

During the visit, the external assessor will be able to review the evidence with the Champion and an award will be agreed.

CPD sessions

Champions are asked to attend four training sessions aimed at supporting and directing their work in schools.

Making a difference from day one: top tips

  • Be aware of what you say about maths, especially around children.
  • Challenge ANYONE that you hear making negative comments about maths
  • Any time you hear celebrities in the media saying that they ‘can’t do maths’, or making negative comments about maths, discuss it with pupils
  • Share your own enjoyment of maths and highlight when you have used it in everyday life.
  • Dispel the myth that there is a maths gene and that only a few people can be good at maths
  • Encourage parents to be positive- share ‘top tips’ with them including praising effort with maths not just achievement

The Story so Far

Cohort 1 ( LCQM Pilot ) – 17 primary , 7 secondary and 2 special – all assessed

Cohort 2

16 primary , 2 secondary , 2 special – assessments taking place now

Cohort 3

21 primary , 7 secondary , 2 special – training taking place now , assessments begin in November

Cohort A Knowsley South

14 schools – training begins April 18 , assessments Feb 18

Cohort B Knowsley Central

15 schools  – training from Sept 17 , assessing in April 18

Cohort 4

5 schools at present – launch July 17 , training Sept 17 , assessing April 18

For more information please contact the CEO of Liverpool Learning Partnership, Elaine Rees at or use our contact form.