CPD and transition are priorities for maths chief

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The man who spearheaded a drive to increase take-up of further maths among post-16 state school pupils has been appointed to lead the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM).

The man who spearheaded a drive to increase take-up of further maths among post-16 state school pupils has been appointed to lead the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM).

Charlie Stripp, a former maths teacher and chief executive of the charity Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), said his priority will be ensuring that all teachers have access to high quality CPD. 

He told SecEd: “It is clear that young people who do not achieve a decent maths qualification have their life chances dramatically reduced and the success of resits at GCSE has been poor. 

“I am also keen on looking at the transition between primary and secondary school, as pupils who fail to achieve Level 4 at the age of 11 are unlikely to achieve a C or above at GCSE.”

He said other challenges included changes to the curriculum and education secretary Michael Gove’s plan to introduce the English Baccalaureate Certificates as part of his examination reforms. He added: “All reforms require a significant amount of CPD to ensure that teachers are prepared and understand the changes.

“All teachers need a coherent CPD offer so we will be working closely with providers, the government and awarding bodies. This will be a challenge and it is important that we get it right.”

The NCETM, which is funded by the Department for Education, provides CPD to maths teachers from primary level to further education and Mr Stripp will replace outgoing director Celia Hoyles in March.

Mr Stripp is well-known for leading a project by the MEI to encourage more state school pupils to study further maths to improve their chances of gaining entry to the top universities. Between 2005 and 2012 the number of entries in the subject rose by 5,600 to 12,700 at A level and from 3,800 to 20,300 at AS level.

He said: “The scheme, which began in 2000 and has since been rolled out nationally, involved the dissemination of online teaching and learning resources, and promoting closer links between schools and colleges and higher education.

“Since we began the number of entries has risen dramatically. Previously, further maths was a subject more likely to be taken by pupils in independent schools, which increased the chances of those candidates of getting into relevant courses in the top universities. We needed to reverse this trend.”

Mr Stripp, who will be continuing as chief executive of MEI, has had a long career in maths education and is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. For details on the NCETM, visit www.ncetm.org.uk


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