The long-awaited Adrian Smith Review is seemingly imminent. The implications of the review will be far-reaching for Mathematics not just for post-16 education but for students of all ages in UK schools.
One key ingredient of the review will be the continuing role of Core Maths and its relevancy in establishing Maths post-16. The current government’s wish would be for all students to study Mathematics beyond GCSE. The backing and funding of such a relevant course as Core Maths must surely be on the agenda and should be endorsed by all. In the past couple of weeks I have been struck for the enthusiasm for Core Maths amongst students and teachers alike and the opportunities it gives our young people. The knock-on effect for the economy can also not be understated.
Obviously if more students are encouraged to take Maths post-16 then we need to train more Maths teachers. Here at Poole TSST you will be pleased to know that we are oversubscribed for our standard and fast-track programmes. Our wish is to establish an excellent, sustainable programme which helps and support local schools with the well-documented shortage of Maths teachers. Only this week Theresa May has been advocating a specialist Maths school in every town or city. I’m not sure this should be a priority at the moment; more that every school should access to high quality maths provision. How do we achieve this? Well, more specialist, collaborative pedagogy training and support, backed up by funding levels commensurate with the government’s stated desires to put UK Mathematics on an even keel with the best in the world. Can we do this without going abroad and recruiting from other countries? Surely as one of the world’s most advanced economies we can put our own house in order.
We await Adrian Smith’s Review with much anticipation and hope for the future.