Teachers: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th March 2015.

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Photo of Peter Luff Peter Luff Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she plans to take to enable teachers in primary schools to participate in subject-specific continuing professional development to maintain their understanding of basic mathematical and specific concepts.

Photo of David Laws David Laws The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, The Minister for Schools

It is the responsibility of individual primary schools to ensure that teachers get appropriate continuing professional development in all relevant subjects, including mathematics. The Department for Education is committed to improving the mathematical ability of primary teachers and we have put in place a number of measures to support schools; in particular with implementing the new mathematics curriculum.

The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) is responsible for coordinating and quality assuring teacher professional development across all phases and works actively to support the underpinning mathematical knowledge of primary teachers. The NCETM will receive just under £2 million in funding between March 2015 and March 2016.

The department has established a network of 34 new Maths Hubs across England, backed by £11 million of funding. This initiative will enable every primary school in England to access locally tailored, quality support as well as leading on national projects to implement the Asian-style mastery approach to mathematics, which has achieved world-leading levels of success. Central to this is the China-England Mathematics Teacher Exchange Programme, which has so far seen 59 primary mathematics teachers from Shanghai spend three weeks working in primary schools alongside their English colleagues, planning lessons, and leading master classes and training sessions with other schools to allow local teachers to benefit directly from their expertise. The hubs are also leading a project to trial the use of Singapore-style textbooks at the core of a mastery teaching approach in selected primary schools.

For the first time in 2014-15, post-initial teacher training subject knowledge enhancement is available to primary teachers for mathematics. This is part of a school-led test and learn project with 45 Teaching School Alliances designing and delivering this training across the country to meet local need.

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