A Division of Learning Skills Research Foundation


The Maths Anxiety Trust aims to eliminate anxiety about Maths


The Maths Anxiety Trust aims to assist Maths teachers by offering insights and ammunition to help boost any lack of confidence in maths students.


The resources on this website have been designed to help.


Some teachers may not want to admit to themselves that any of their pupils may not like maths lessons: some pupils are afraid to admit that they dont like maths lessons. To check, dont only listen to what pupils say watch their behaviour.


Teacher at table with children


UCL ScratchMaths

ScratchMaths is a two-year computing and mathematics-based curriculum for Key Stage 2 pupils (Years 5 and 6). Its aim is to enable pupils to engage with and explore important mathematical ideas through learning to program. We are using the free online programming environment Scratch.

The ScratchMaths curriculum has been designed and trialled by a team based at the UCL Knowledge Lab in London, England in conjunction with primary teachers and is currently being used in over 50 schools across England.



Girls are Damaged

There is a British culture of I am no good at maths being seen as a badge of honour. This damaging attitude is far more prevalent among girls than among boys. This seriously hampers educational achievement and subsequently has a detrimental, knock-on effect for British industry. Our country should be doing better.


Below are some ways to help girls achieve their potential..




  • Watch: Maths Action at Langley Park, an eight-minute video about Year 9 girls Video


Reasons for Maths Anxiety

1. The childs genetic disposition at birth (mental and physical)

2.  Childs economic background (hunger, cramped conditions)

3.  Familys social background (drink, drugs ,violence)

4.  Parental postive encouragement in maths

5.  The school environment

6.  Unusual exterior reasons for missing school (illness, frequent family moves)

7.  The Maths teacher has maths anxiety

8.  The Maths pedagogy : possible inflexibility of some methods used to teach teachers to teach.

9.  Online Maths courses (screen teaching)

10. The maths course in text books

This circle is divided in ten equal slices. Every person with Maths Anxiety may be affected by one of more slices, to a greater or lesser degree.

Educational psychologists tend to concentrate on circle slices 2 and 3. It is time that there was a focus on the areas that have not been examined thoroughly in the last 50 years: areas 4 - 10.

The present maths curriculum is sometimes described as not fit for purpose. It is not always logically presented - in some steps the hard part comes before the easy part. The present Curriculum need to be deconstructed and reassembled. Parts of the new curriculum need a complete, updated version of Everyday Maths, for work, for leisure, for 21st Century life.

It needs to include simple sections on bookkeeping and budgeting, plus a young person’s guide to finance and world economics. The new curriculum needs to be written by maths academics and teachers, working with other professionals: a communicator such as a top journalist, a graphic designer, and an editor-in-chief.

No past maths curriculum has been tested on children before it is printed and distributed. The new curriculum needs to be thoroughly tested on children of different abilities, different ages and with different challenges ( i.e. Dyslexia) BEFORE it is printed and distributed.

Maths Pedagogy.  Teacher training methods need to be updated for the 21st Century: a section is needed on the detection and teatment of Maths Anxiety.

For Instance, a problem frequently reported by children: If the child does not understand what the teacher said, the child puts up its hand - but the teacher merely reports what was said the first time.

And so - again - the child does not understand it.


Boys: what
s the difference?

Boys need motivation. To do their best, boys need a clear sense of purpose (Whats the point?)


Boys need to understand that after they leave school, they need maths to earn money. This needs to be discussed and demonstrated at home and at school.


Boys are naturally competitive.


Boys hate to feel a loss of self-confidence. (This is why a man in a car, who has lost his way, wont stop to ask for guidance.)


Boys leave homework until the last minute and underestimate the time required.


Ask each boy how long he guesses his homework will take. Ask him to check. this against the time it actually takes. Maybe it will take twice his estimate… or three times… or four times… Boys learn how to calculate how long a project will actually take.


Boys are less likely to try to get away with not doing homework, if they know they will be tested on it.


Of course, some boys work hard and some girls dont.



Like to see what the government is doing about school maths?

Want to see who has the national government contract with others to support the professional development of British maths teachers? Youll be glad you visited NCTEM (The National Centre For Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics).


Give them motivation

Develop maths motivation in older boys and girls by encouraging them to visit a useful website that lists hundreds of jobs, tells you how much they pay and what qualifications you need.


Show them the Guide to Careers thats on the National Careers Services website.

You can speak to an adviser. Tel: 0800 100 900




Go to Kidzania

Take younger children, aged 7 to 14 years, to Kidzania, an innovative, interactive, kid-size town.  For school groups, and children, alone or with a few friends.


Here, children can role play being in a hospital team or piloting a plane, with a simulator. Children can try out jobs and get paid for their work as a hairdresser banker or fireman, in the mini-sized fire station, equipped hair salon or miniature working bank.


Kidzania demonstrates neatly how maths is linked to money and jobs; a visit can encourage aspiration in school children especially poorer children while entertaining them on a fun day out.


In its first year, over 200,000 school children visited Kidzania many coming by coach from Northern England. Over 30% of those schools re-booked, to take different classes.


There are special prices for school groups and FSM pupils. At time of writing, the lowest price is £9 per student for a 4 hour visit cheaper than a baby sitter for perhaps the most important 4 hours of your childs life.




The Maths Anxiety Trust © 2024