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In 2015 the Office of the Australian Chief Scientist commissioned a study to identify strategies and characteristics of schools in which students had demonstrated substantial achievement gains in numeracy, as measured by performance in the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN, see https://www.nap.edu.au/). Case studies were conducted in 52 different “successful” schools, and survey responses were collected from more than 200 teachers, 100 school leaders, and 1000 students. “Successful” schools – primary, secondary and combined – were located in every Australian state and territory, in the government, Catholic and Independent school sectors, and across a broad range of socio-economic levels. “Successful” schools were found to have a consistent and positive focus on mathematics across the school, in classrooms, and with individuals. Yet there was no single teaching approach or program that led to success in mathematics. This presentation aims to stimulate discussion on characteristics of “successful” schools and what can (and cannot) be learned from studies such as this.