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A former teacher has kicked off his business with a major success and support from the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme.

Jon Smedley

How to double turnover in just over a year is a sum that most business owners would love the answer to.

Former deputy head teacher, Jon Smedley, has cracked it with his multi award-winning business, Maths of the Day (MOTD).

The innovative online resource creates lesson plans that combine Maths and PE, to boost children’s attitudes towards numeracy through fun, exciting and engaging active sessions.

Jon, also a previous PE Advisor, has always been passionate about using physical activity as a vehicle to develop children and drive up standards in other subjects. During his teaching career, he realised that many children he taught had a negative attitude to maths or displayed low confidence with the subject. To combat this, he began delivering maths lessons through physical activity – delivering lessons in the gym, outside or simply in the classroom but with no chairs! Results were remarkable across a number of schools and Jon was keen to turn his file of ideas into a website which teachers and schools across the UK could access and use.

In 2015, the Maths of the Day website was launched and the response from schools has been very positive ever since

He said: “We were rolling out to a number of schools and the business was showing a lot of promise so we realised that we needed new premises and some area expertise to support growth.”

In March 2016, MOTD moved into the University of Chester’s Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC) and the rest is history.

“At the Riverside Innovation Centre, we got more than a modern office and great break out areas, meeting rooms and conference facilities.

“We got specialist support from university staff and became part of a network of like-minded businesses and entrepreneurs.”

MOTD has become part of Riverside Innovation Centre’s collaborative culture. They have worked closely with Kirsty Craig Associates, a specialist HR and recruitment company, to recruit new employees.

Jon said: “One of the many benefits of being here is the access it gave me to the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme.”

With fully-funded support from experts, the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme is backed by the European Regional Development Fund.

It provides a range of help, from business planning to advice on securing investment, marketing, sales, HR and much more.

These connections are a direct result of our approach to making the school day more active, encouraging physical activity and helping all children to meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations of achieving 60 minutes of physical activity per day.Jon Smedley

 

MOTD has accessed fully-funded support to help develop staff skills in areas including digital marketing.

Jon said: “This has contributed to the overall growth of the business, our turnover has doubled since moving to the RIC and we have recruited six new members of staff.”

Also since being based at the RIC, MOTD has scooped the Business Start-Up of the Year awards at both the Cheshire Business Awards and the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce Recognition Awards.

MOTD resources are now making a difference to 80,000 children per week in more than 800 schools across the UK and the business is looking to develop internationally.

MOTD has received praise and accolades from major national organisations, including Ofsted, Youth Sport Trust and the Association for PE