London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


Involving Mathematics for Parents, Children and Teachers (IMPACT project)


1985 - 2004

Funding sources over the past two decades have included the ILEA, the Polytechnic of North London, the University of North London, the Nuffield Foundation, about 80 Local Education Authorities, and many, many schools

The IMPACT project was a research and intervention centre, that was for the last four years of its life based in the Institute for Policy Studies in Education.

The project ended in July 2004, and we give below a brief description of its activities in the latter part of its life.

The beginnings:

IMPACT was started in 1985 by Ruth Merttens, then a lecturer in the then Department of Teaching Studies, the Polytechnic of North London. The project original ran for a year in a dozen primary schools in north London, where Ruth introduced the philosophy of getting parents involved with their children’s mathematics learning. Mathematics or writing skills are started in school by the teacher, and then taken home and continued with a parent, carer or older sibling, before being returned to school for further work, a diary is used for comments by all parties.IMPACT originally stood for ILEA Mathematics, Parents and Children and Teachers, though initially without ILEA’s support (or, indeed, approval!).

Ruth was joined by Jeff Vass as a Researcher, and IMPACT then took on a more formal process of dissemination and evaluation. The project went national in the late 1980s, and many LEAs took part in IMPACT programmes and activities. Since 1985 IMPACT has expanded into thousands of primary schools in the UK, and also in the USA and Canada. The process by which the homework is shared has been refined. The photocopiable homework activities are now produced by Scholastic Publications Ltd, and there are shared writing homework activities as well as other resources to support shared learning. Jeff Vass moved to Southampton University in the mid 1990s, followed in 1997 by Ruth Merttens, and the project carried on being run by Lyn Taylor at what had now become the University of North London.

IMPACT from 2000 - 2004:

IMPACT aimed to develop partnerships in children’s learning - which involves teachers, parents and children. It was concerned both with developing good practice and the research that underpins this.

Many research activities are focused on the dialogues between home and school that IMPACT has generated. Our research programme has developed at the London Metropolitan University and several other universities that use the IMPACT project.

In the past six years IMPACT expanded its work from numeracy into the field of literacy, and since 1997 into Key Stage 3 Mathematics.

Since the early days of IMPACT a team of committed educationalists with a shared vision, from across the UK, has gathered to provide advice and in-service education and training to schools and educational institutions.

The endings:

In the summer of 2004, Lin Taylor moved to take up a new post at the Urban Education Centre of the St Martin’s College. IMPACT had by this stage become integrated into a wide range of programmes across the UK, and we decided that it no longer needed the central coordination that had been provided. We therefore decided to end the project in July 2004.

Enquiries should be sent in the first instance to the Director of IPSE, who will be able to respond on some basic issues. More detailed enquiries will be forwarded as and if appropriate to ex-members of the IMPACT team, who may be able to assist.

Please note that we no longer stock any of the IMPACT materials


   Company Information    Page last updated 03 March 2008     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)