Primary Education: Mathematics
Children, Schools and Families

Photo of Nick Gibb

Nick Gibb (Shadow Minister, Children, Schools and Families; Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

(1) if the review of primary and early years mathematics teaching led by Sir Peter Williams will carry out a systematic review or meta-analysis of research literature on mathematics learning;

(2) if he will list the members of the review of primary and early years mathematics teaching led by Sir Peter Williams;

(3) whether the review of primary and early years mathematics teaching led by Sir Peter Williams will examine the curriculum standards of foreign countries that outperform England in international comparisons;

(4) whether the review of primary and early years mathematics teaching led by Sir Peter Williams will make recommendations on the content of the (a) primary mathematics curriculum and (b) primary national strategy;

(5) how much funding has been allocated to the review of primary and early years mathematics teaching led by Sir Peter Williams;

(6) when he expects the review of primary and early years mathematics teaching led by Sir Peter Williams to issue an (a) interim and (b) final report;

(7) what the terms of reference are of the review of primary and early years mathematics teaching led by Sir Peter Williams.

Photo of Jim Knight

Jim Knight (Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families; South Dorset, Labour)

The maths review will cover all of primary mathematics teaching up to the end of Key Stage 2 and will also look at the teaching of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy to 3 to 5-year-olds, as defined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Through examination of the available evidence including international best practice and through engagement with the teaching profession, the review will consider and make recommendations in the following areas:

What is the most effective pedagogy of maths teaching in primary schools and early years settings. That consideration will include instructional methodologies, teaching and learning strategies, and lesson designs that are most effective in helping children to progress in their learning.

What range of provision best supports children across the full ability range, including the most gifted. The highest priority will be given to those who are not progressing fast enough to reach national expectations. The review will specifically make recommendations to inform the development of an early (age 5 to 7) intervention programme for children who are failing to master the basics of numeracy—"Every Child Counts".

What conceptual and subject knowledge of mathematics should be expected of primary school teachers and early years practitioners, and how should initial teaching training and continuing professional development be improved to secure that knowledge.

What is the most effective design and sequencing of the design and sequencing of the mathematics curriculum. Recommendations in this area will inform a future review of the primary curriculum as a whole.

How should parents and families best be helped to support young children's mathematical development.

The review will build on the recent renewal of the primary framework for mathematics and the EYFS.

The review will start in September with an interim report being produced in March and a final report published in June 2008.

We will discuss further details of the conduct of the review as well as potential advisers and funding implications with Sir Peter Williams in due course.

A copy of the letter from the Secretary of State to Sir Peter Williams, setting out the terms of reference for the review, has been placed in the House Libraries.

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