A national network of Maths Hubs that will seek to match the standards achieved in top-performing East Asian countries – including Japan, Singapore and Shanghai – was launched in July. The Hertfordshire & Essex High School in Bishop’s Stortford was appointed as one of the 32 schools and academy trusts to lead the hubs across England and provide a model for schools in their area. The scheme is backed by £11million funding from the Department for Education and will be accessible to all schools.
We are delighted to announce that the Benfleet Teaching School Alliance (The Appleton School, The King John School and Kingston Primary School) will work as a Strategic Partner of the Matrix Essex and Herts Maths Hub and will lead on national and local projects and initiatives in the Castle Point area.
Hubs will develop local specialist expertise by including local university faculties, area representatives of national initiatives (such as the Further Mathematics Support Programme and the Core Maths Support Programme), subject associations and appropriate local employers. The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) will co-ordinate the programme at a national level. The NCETM has already trialled the Maths Hubs approach working with several leading teaching schools.
Charlie Stripp, Director of the NCETM:
“The Maths Hubs programme has immense potential to bring about widespread and long-lasting improvements to the way all English school and college students learn maths, and retain that learning for use in later life. We know there are many examples of excellent mathematics education within the school and college system.
“The Maths Hubs programme offers a means of spreading that excellence more widely, sharing proven good practice and supporting innovation. It also provides a means to disseminate, exploit and build on lessons that English teachers learn from each other, and from other countries, in particular as a result of the exchange project with teachers in China starting this autumn.”
Current projects include The China-England Research Project and encouraging more participation post-16. Matrix Essex and Herts Maths Hub is looking forward to welcoming two teachers from Shanghai in the new year as part of the China-England Research project. They will be embedded in the hub to teach pupils and run master classes for other teachers.
The Head of Education at the respected OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Andreas Schleicher, has described the programme as “potentially transformative”.
The Headteachers of Appleton, King John and Kingston stated:
"We feel privileged to become the lead schools in the Maths Hub programme. This will allow the greatest possible dissemination of best practice to all schools in our region. There is enormous potential in working together, sharing ideas, experiences and resources. We know that learning from each other, and from experts in China, will bring about huge improvements in subject knowledge and pedagogy in the teaching of Maths. We are looking forward to the opportunity to share our outstanding practice in terms of teaching expertise and pupil performance."
Locally, our current plans are focused on recruiting high quality graduates into our school based teacher training programmes and improving primary and secondary mathematics teaching through funded Mastering Mathematics courses provided in partnership with Plymouth University.