When Colin Hegarty first approached SHINE in 2012, he was a maths teacher in North West London who had uploaded a few videos to YouTube. Colin had been teaching a student who had to leave the country to take care of a sick relative, and rather than allowing that student to miss out on learning, Colin began filming his lessons from his phone at the back of the classroom. After a few weeks, Colin noticed that it wasn’t just Amil who was watching the video. It seemed other students also wanted to be able to access great maths teaching online.

Colin’s application to SHINE stood out right from the beginning. Though his initial product was embryonic, Colin and his colleague Brian had more than enough ambition. Their aim was clear – to create a platform whereby “any student, no matter their background or prior attainment, could access world class maths support whilst also saving teachers time to do what they do best – deliver high quality maths lessons.” It was this clear vision which prompted SHINE to invest in Colin with an initial one-year grant to test his idea within his school and then in 2014 to take the bold decision to fully fund a year’s sabbatical for Colin and his co-founder, Brian Arnold, to turn their ambition into reality.

HegartyMaths has since grown to become a fully integrated teaching and assessment platform, which is now being used by a third of all secondary schools in England. This includes 336 schools in the North of England, including all the schools in the biggest Northern Multi-Academy Trusts. The retention rate of schools is 90%+, which the HegartyMaths team attribute to high quality training, product and customer service. The site has delivered 3.5 million hours of learning in the last year to 640,508 students across the UK, of which an estimated 28% are from Pupil Premium backgrounds.

A recent external evaluation of a pilot of HegartyMaths in six Camden schools showed “very strong positive correlations” between HegartyMaths usage and SATs attainment for disadvantaged pupils.

HegartyMaths is just one of the innovations in education that SHINE supported from an early stage.