The Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry

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8 April, 2003

The Inquiry into Post-14 Mathematics Education has been charged with drawing up the plans for the establishment of a National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics Education, announced by Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, at the ACME/DfES conference on 13 March 2003.

Mr Clarke, who has taken over ministerial responsibility for the Inquiry, acknowledged that we need to be better at inspiring and supporting our teachers, refreshing the enthusiasm for maths that led them into teaching in the first place.

The Inquiry will evaluate options and costs and will make its recommendation in the autumn. The Inquiry will also consider suitable partners for the Centre from the worlds of business and the voluntary sector. The remit of the centre includes:

  • covering all ages from pre-school, through universities and adult learning
  • providing teachers with curriculum support, opportunities to explore different teaching approaches, exciting classroom materials and access to good quality training and development
  • linking with Specialist schools and through them, with their local partner schools, and universities to create strong specialist networks
  • working to support the numeracy strategy in primary schools and the maths strand of the Key Stage 3 national strategy

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Professor Adrian Smith, chair of the Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry, welcomed Mr Clarke's announcement and is delighted that the Inquiry has been asked to recommend the way forward. " Continuing professional development should be a vital part of the career of teachers of mathematics," said Professor Smith. "It is an issue which has been raised in all of our meetings with stakeholder groups. We now have a wonderful opportunity to put in place a national centre and networks to support and enhance the work of teachers involved in mathematics."

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Editor's Notes

This press notice relates to England

1. Charles Clarke announced the plans for a National Centre of Excellence in Mathematics Teaching at an international mathematics seminar organised by the Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education (ACME). (DfES Press Notice 2003/039)

2. The Inquiry is expected to an report in autumn 2003 and to take evidence from a wide range of interests.

3. Professor Adrian Smith was appointed Principal of Queen Mary, University of London in 1998. He was Professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Nottingham from 1977 to 1990 and Professor of Statistics and Head of Mathematics at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine from 1990 to 1998. He is a recent president of the Royal Statistical Society and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. He is a Governor of the London Business School.

4. The Inquiry into Post-14 Mathematics was announced by Paul Boateng, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, on 23 July as part of the Government response, Investing in Innovation, to recommendations in Sir Gareth Roberts’ report SET for Success: The supply of people with science, technology, engineering and mathematical skills. (HMT Press Notice 71/02).

The relevant part of the response, to recommendation 2.10 of the Roberts report, reads "The Government is also launching a review into post-14 mathematics, with the aim of ensuring that the UK has enough young people with good mathematical skills and knowledge that meets the needs of employers and of further and higher education".

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Other Press Releases 

Prof Smith appoints Steering Group

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