A report from the Advisory Council on Mathematics Education (ACME) has suggested that teachers responsible for maths, in both primary and secondary schools, need to have better qualifications and training in order to raise the standards of maths teaching in relation to the global average.
It seems that the UK has been falling behind, with the Global school rankings of our pupils at 20th for maths and science. The report has urged for big changes in the training and recruitment policies for new maths teachers. Currently trainee primary teachers are required to have a C in GCSE maths, but the ACME believes that primary teachers should have at least studied maths to the age of 18. Secondly, the report mentioned the need for better mentoring and training for primary and secondary NQTs from school based maths experts, as well as better professional development for fully-qualified teachers.
The author of the report, Mr Barbour, believes that it could take up to a decade to improve the UKs national standard of maths teaching. However the NUT feels this is far too long to wait, with general secretary Russell Hobby explaining that ‘The children in the system today won't see the benefits before they leave school.’
Despite what this report and the Global school rankings tell us, the Department of Education say they have already made changes. They are now looking to develop non-specialist maths and physics teachers and also attract more 2.2 graduates into the trade, who will now receive £25,000 in bursaries and scholarships if they choose to start postgraduate ITT courses in maths teaching.
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