Epoch and Optima Trusts
The Epoch and Optima Trusts are independent trusts founded by Anglo American to disburse funds for the furtherance of excellence in maths education. Their focus is to strengthen achieving but under-funded secondary schools to produce growing numbers of learners with strong maths passes.
The Trusts have three key areas of focus:
- Public Schools Maths Challenge – The programme aims to increase participation in maths, improve the quality of maths passes and increase access for disadvantaged learners. The programme complements government’s efforts in this area, and particularly the Dinaledi School project. Nationally, public schools with strong track records in producing matriculants with high level maths passes are selected for funding. Grants awarded are based on detailed budgeted spending plans submitted by schools to sustain and increase their numbers of high level maths passes.
- Independent Schools Maths Challenge – While on a smaller scale than the Public Schools Maths Challenge, a supportive intervention is also underway with low fee and high fee independent schools, although grants to high fee independent schools require a matched funding commitment from the schools themselves. These schools are measured on their own stretch targets to promote excellence and innovation in maths teaching and learning.
- Research – The strategy of the Trusts is informed by research published on the challenges faced in maths education. The Epoch and Optima Trusts fund some of this research and will continue to support ongoing research and monitoring in mathematics education to assess the impact of interventions and to share learning across the sector.
The Trusts are currently closed to new applications.