Malawi Solar Lights

Charity Overview

Coram provides children and young people with love and opportunity from infancy to independence. They’re a specialist group of children’s charities dedicated to all children, but particularly those who have little or no support around them. 

On the journey from infancy to independence, Coram provide adoption and fostering services, education and early years support, advocacy and legal services, while training and advising professionals and developing their own innovation and insight.


Project Summary

Access to education is a fundamental right for children, yet too many lose out on a fulfilling school education and the chance to reach their potential. Coram Education exists to make sure this doesn’t happen.

I can think of children who would gain confidence just knowing they can do the same work as their peers.
School Teacher

Coram Education, made up of Coram Beanstalk, Coram Life Education and Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, offers a unique combination of specialist programmes designed to support children, aged 3 to 18, to thrive. Coram ensures children receive the essential skills they need. Simultaneously they build the capacity of teachers so their work is sustained, impacting on more and more children. 

This support could really help enable children to feel more confident and positive about maths
School Maths Teacher

Funding from ICAP Charity Day 2019, has provided support for the development of Coram’s growing Education Division, by helping to pilot a new numeracy programme – low levels of which are a long-term problem for the UK. Too many children start to fall behind in maths early on and that failure is compounded over the years. A large proportion of young people leave school without the numeracy skills needed for life. The gap between low and high achievers is greater in maths than in any other subject. This is not a new situation but one that continues to be overlooked and therefore isn’t being resolved.

The chance for Coram and our education team to make our own contribution into the great work going on to address the numeracy gap, especially in children, and therefore hopefully prevent it being an issue in later life is an inspiring challenge. Together, thanks to ICAP's support, we will make a difference
Angela Fuggle, Head of Programmes and Project Lead, Coram

Coram’s numeracy project, funded by ICAP Charity Day, is focused on the most disadvantaged children with the aim of improving their competence with numeracy alongside their confidence and attitude to the subject. Together we aim to provide:

• One to one number helpers – based on Coram Beanstalk’s model of trained volunteer reading helpers 

• Number workshops – for children in primary schools 

• Online numeracy resources – for teachers via Coram Life Education's online SCARF resources

The project is also exploring the relationship between child and parent which is another key reason why children struggle or avoid numeracy. 

Pandemic Impact

On receiving the funds from ICAP, Coram worked on a feasibility study to identify the numeracy needs of children and the needs of schools and teachers. This was to help inform the priority for delivery before a ‘pilot’ project started in April 2020 and ran for twelve months.

Unfortunately, initial plans and timeline were hampered by the national lockdown in March 2020. The severe, continuing and ever-changing challenges being faced by all schools since then has resulted in further delays to the project. However, this didn’t stop Coram’s desire to make progress, so they pivoted from the original plan of working with schools in London, and utilised the personal reputations and contacts of two key Coram project officers to focus on schools situated near to them in Yorkshire and Norfolk. Discussions with three schools were positive, they all assisted with the research and scoping phase and were all enthusiastic about continuing their involvement once circumstances allowed. 

All areas of the numeracy project are dependent on setting up and delivering the pilot, which involves: 

• testing the efficacy of training, resources and delivery model as the platform for recruiting volunteers;

• supporting teachers with specialist resources;

• extending the provision of training and resources to wider audiences; 

• developing group activities for children etc.

Next Steps

Following discussions with schools, Coram feel it important to allow time for the children to settle back into their routines, to re-build a sense of normality and to enable schools to assess the needs of the children who might benefit most from this numeracy project. 

Coram is hopeful of re-opening school conversations from early May 2021 and will engage TP ICAP volunteers to support the project before the ambition of beginning to deliver face-to-face pilots of the project once children return from the October 2021 half term.