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Maths-focused primary teacher training courses to be launched

09/06/2017 Joanna

A new series of training courses are to be launched in the UK with the aim of producing more primary teachers who can lead maths provision at their schools.

The government is asking teacher training providers to develop non-specialist courses aimed at creating generalist primary teachers, but with a substantial mathematics component, reports TES.

Currently, primary maths specialist courses are designed for trainees who want to focus solely on teaching maths, but these are only offered by designated providers, meaning the number of staff they produce is not enough to meet the present demand for teaching personnel with maths-focused skill sets.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership said teachers trained on these courses will not have the same exclusive focus on mathematics as a specialist, but will have a robust grounding in the subject, equipping them well for leadership positions.

James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, said: "There have been generalist primary courses with an extra focus on a particular subject, such as maths, in the past, but this is the first time they've been treated separately for allocations. Some providers may be interested in developing courses in this area.

"I think it is a good idea: headteachers want generalists, but to have people with a bit more of a specialism is helpful."

This comes at a time when improving educational outcomes in mathematics is seen as a key priority, with revisions to Sats maths papers having recently been introduced to make them more rigorous.

Meanwhile, a programme to train primary teachers in the East Asian mastery approach to maths was confirmed for expansion last year, with 140 teachers having already been trained in this method as of July 2016. In total, £41 million has been committed over four years to allow hundreds more to be trained.

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