Working in partnership with the Department for Education, Bath Spa University and the Sigma Teaching School Alliance

We’ve recently received very good news with the backing of fully paid internships in our region for Maths and Physics undergraduates. This course, led by Josh Brown, will build on our network of courses and hopefully produce a few budding teachers. The interns will follow a four-week course where they will get a full flavour of what it’s like to be a teacher including pedagogy training, observing, coaching, working with small groups, acting as a TA as well as teaching episodes. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming our recruits in June.

Our TSST courses are all underway with both Maths courses offering flexible fast-track options, which are proving very popular. After a slow start our Physics course is gaining traction and we should have seven qualified teachers by the end of the academic year.

It is essential that we maintain our delivery options for TSST given the ongoing issues with recruitment and retention. I have written extensively about this in previous posts but the situation is becoming particularly severe with things coming to a head during the next eighteen months. In order for us to drive up the study of Maths post-16 it is critical that we have well-qualified (and experienced) practioners in place. This includes ongoing CPD for both specialists and non-specialists. The government is waking up to the issues we have with retention and we need to find ways of sustaining teachers’ motivation for the role. The announcement of a Maths premium recently which goes beyond what was initially offered, is very welcome news. However, without the teachers in place the ambitions of driving up the study of Maths are likely to fail.

The development of Maths teaching at all key stages is very important if we are to see a sustained improvement in Maths skills in the workforce. This includes getting it right in primary education, too. It is very encouraging that evidence-based agencies such as the EEF are paving the way for improvements in pedagogy and practice. Recently I have been asked to get involved in a SSIF project which is being run by Wimborne Academy Trust. Specifically it is aimed at developing Maths pedagogy at Key Stage 2. The project will last for three terms and hopefully lead to improved outcomes for all!

Andy Oldman