Barrhead-based TeeJay Publishing started out with handwritten worksheets for schools faced with a lack of homework materials.
Its books became such a hit with staff and students the venture soon doubled in size and last year the four-man firm recorded a 51% rise in profits.
As the venture progressed in its earliest days, brothers John, 65, and Tom Strang, 52, moved on to photocopied sheets as the popularity of their books grew.
They then took on fellow maths teachers Jim Geddes and James Cairns as part of the writing team to help the business expand south of the Border as well as to Australia where they are testing the market.
The firm – which has also just won a Herald Family Business Award – said the rise was due to a new breakthrough in the secondary market which pushes them to the forefront of such suppliers in Scotland.
The brothers hatched the idea when Tom was head of maths at Clydebank High School.
He had the double problem of selling the books to teachers while making them interesting for children. But within two years TeeJay was selling to almost 80% of the 2000 primary schools in Scotland.
It was the firm’s recent success in expanding to such a degree – with sales worth £750,000 predicted this year – that helped the team win the Herald Family Business Award for Business Innovation.
TeeJay now sells to approximately 85% of the entire Scottish school market.
Tom said: “We would like to go into England and we have also been looking at Australia. John’s the man on the phone and we have the best writing team in Jim Geddes, James Cairns and myself in Scotland.
“Their success is not only down to matching the homework with the coursework as it is to originality, innovation and a belief in what we’re doing.
“Our books are written purely for the children, not teachers, and hence are bright, colourful and each exercise takes into account the need for pupils to come to grips with the work and slowly build up confidence.”
The books average around £9 while their competitors charge around £16-£17, he said.
They use printers Elanders in Newcastle who have printed all 19 of their books. There is a matching website and the company has generated more than £130,000 worth of sales in three years.
The firm is one of a number helping to prop up the changing reputation of the publishing market in Scotland.
Publishers earlier this year warned Scotland’s place as a top academic publishing base risked being lost after a firm famed for its scholarly journals said it would quit the country.
Experts said the closure of the Wiley-Blackwell group operation in Edinburgh, which specialises in technical and professional publications, marked a significant change in the publishing landscape. Its decision came after the closure of the 191-year-old Chambers Dictionary offices in the capital with the loss of 27 jobs.
But the changing market offers opportunities for others in related genres and those taking advantage of new technology.
Mr Cairns teaches maths at Clydebank High School while Mr Geddes is recently retired from Renfrew High.
Maths homework has been made so interesting for students who are delighted they get to keep the books.
First year pupils at Turnbull High School, Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, Anna Nixon and Lauren Tran, both 12, said the direct relation to coursework was a great help.
Anna said: "In class the books give us lots of examples to do so it helps us to practise what we have been learning.
"The colours used in the books makes it very clear what we have to do. We keep the homework booklets and use them for revision."
Lauren added: "The homework booklets are divided into sections so we don't have a heavy textbook to carry to school each day."
Fiona McLaughlin, principal teacher of mathematics, Turnbull High School, said: "TeeJay is a company composed of experienced teachers who know children, schools and the Scottish education system.
"They ensure knowledge of current trends and changes in the education system and create resources accordingly. The Scottish examination system is about to change again. They are already to the forefront of developments launching yet another resource for the new National Qualifications.
"A suggested progression route for pupils is also provided. It is evident that much research takes place prior to the printing of new materials which are produced for mathematics so they assist in meeting the needs of our learners as well as providing a valuable resource.
"The resources are well planned in terms of content, layout and are appropriate to the reading ages of pupils.
"Pupils are able to work independently as instructions are very clear throughout the textbooks. As a result they are a popular resource for pupils and parents both at home and in the classroom.
"Having the additional homework resource provides continuity and consolidation of coursework."
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