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ESPO and Learning Resources add up to bring DfE's initiative to schools

ESPO and Learning Resources add up to bring DfE's initiative to schools


ESPO are proud to be at the forefront of the UK education sector and as such we’re always looking to find new ways to support schools. When the Department for Education worked with us to procure 360,000 rekenreks for schools across the country, made and delivered in just months, we knew we had to step up to the challenge.

The requirement was to supply a high-quality product that met the learning outcomes to support a new learning programme, Mastering Number, designed for children in Reception, Year 1, and Year 2 to develop good number sense.

Along with other helpful learning resources, this programme required a rekenrek that was high quality at the most competitive price.  After engaging with our pool of trusted suppliers, we teamed up with Learning Resources®, a long standing ESPO supplier and provider of high-quality educational resources worldwide. The product ticked all the boxes and could be manufactured and delivered in a tight timeframe.

The 20-Bead Sensory Rekenrek is an ideal tactile maths teaching resource for counting to 20, learning basic addition and subtraction, and other maths concepts such as subitising. When used alongside other materials as part of the Mastering Number programme, it aims to help children develop confidence and fluency with numbers.

A unique extra with this particular product is the grooves in the beads which add a sensory aspect, making it accessible for visually impaired students or those with additional learning needs.

The programme was launched to schools across the country throughout the 2021 autumn term and ESPO supported the distribution of the rekenreks into thousands of participating schools. At a time when the global supply chain is being stretched, the efforts to achieve this have been significant and children within our schools will benefit first hand as a result. 


‘Sourcing the very best products to support education is what we’ve been doing for over 40 years. It’s been a real pleasure to help bring this programme to life, directly benefitting the learning outcomes of the children.’

- Kristian Smith, ESPO Chief Officer


‘Learning Resources is proud to support this initiative by being the supplier of these important learning aids to our schools.’

- Dennis Blackmore, Learning Resources MD.


The rekenreks are provided free of charge to schools signed up to the Mastering Number programme and are also available to purchase directly through ESPO.