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Education minister launches maths hubs

02/07/2014 Joanna
Education minister Elizabeth Truss has launched a national network of maths hubs with the aim of raising standards in the UK's schools.

Some 32 schools and academy trusts are to lead the hubs across England and provide a model for schools in their area, backed by £11 million of funding from the Department for Education.

The Asian-style mastery approach to maths is to be implemented at these institutions. This has achieved significant successes and children in jurisdictions which have adopted the teaching method are typically two years ahead of English children by age 15.

Academics from Shanghai Normal University and the UK's National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths are to assist with the programme's development.

Starting from autumn, up to 60 English-speaking maths teachers from China are to begin working at the 30 maths hubs, where they will run master classes for local schools and provide subject specific training for those in teaching jobs.

Under the new system, specialist subject teaching in maths and other subjects is to be introduced at primary schools instead of a designated class teacher, while textbooks and lesson plans will be used more effectively.

Children are to be given a greater fluency in, and deep understanding of, formal maths, including techniques such as columnar addition and subtraction, long multiplication and long division. Maths lessons will be held daily and homework set to ensure youngsters master all techniques.

Ms Truss said: "Maths is the most important subject for a child's future - it commands the highest earnings, provides the best protection against unemployment and will get you everywhere, opening doors to dozens of careers.

"Our hubs will allow teachers to learn from each other, helping to give them the confidence and knowledge they need to teach maths even more effectively."

The head of education at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has described the scheme as "potentially transformative".

Hubs will also support the Your Life campaign to increase the number of students studying maths and physics at A level. Led by businesses, the initiative aims to increase the number of students taking maths and physics A levels by 50 per cent over the next 3 years.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801732705-ADNFCR
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