From education to employment

Aston University establishes a specialist mathematics school for the West Midlands

  • Aston University to launch school for 16- to 19-year-olds to focus on students who have a talent for maths
  • Will help address the science, technology, engineering and maths skills needs for the future of work in the digital economy
  • The first of its kind in the West Midlands, it will open in September 2025.

Aston University has been chosen to open a prestigious mathematics school for 16- to 19-year-olds in Birmingham.

The school, which will welcome its first students in September 2025, will be located in the city centre next to the Aston University campus and its sister school, Aston University Engineering Academy.

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University welcomed Government support for the new maths school, and reinforced Aston’s commitment to enabling the West Midlands talented youth from any background to succeed in STEM related disciplines at universities in order to pursue mathematically intensive careers and access high value added jobs that are critical for the future of work in the digital economy.

Aston University Mathematics School (AUMS) will help address shortages of highly skilled graduates in sectors that depend on mathematical skills. These include areas within engineering, science and technology, including data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity.

AUMS will be the mathematics school for the West Midlands, part of the government’s commitment to have one in each region. It will build on the success of the first maths schools at Kings College London, the University of Exeter and the Universities of Lancaster and Liverpool. In 2023, others were opened by Imperial College London, Leeds University and the University of Cambridge.  

The aim of AUMS is to identify and select from a wide range of backgrounds the talented mathematicians of the future, who will thrive in an academically challenging university-style environment.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said:

“We are delivering on our commitment to establish maths schools across the country and the Aston University Mathematics School will not only empower students to pursue successful careers but also address the growing demand for skilled professionals in booming sectors such as engineering, artificial intelligence, and data analytics.

“Birmingham and the West Midlands have a fantastic history of achievement in science and engineering, giving the world inventions ranging from the electric kettle to the X-ray. We are cultivating the next generation of STEM talent, ensuring that young people in the local area have the skills for the industries of the future.”

It will be the only one of its kind in the West Midlands and will initially recruit 75, increasing to 200, students from across the region. One of the main aims of the school is to help widen participation from underrepresented groups.

In addition to working with their own pupils, maths schools undertake significant outreach work with those in surrounding schools and colleges, giving priority to groups such as disadvantaged pupils and girls.

Across other schools they’ll offer teaching and tutoring for students and support continuous professional development for maths teachers.

Learners who apply will be chosen on the basis of entrance assessments and interview. If they are successful, they’ll be given a conditional offer based on eventual GCSE results.

The school, which is due to open in September 2025, will benefit from Aston University’s academic expertise in applied maths, computer science and digital technologies.

Professor Stephen Garrett Pro-Vice-Chancellor and executive dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said:

The school will give specialist training to talented students from across the region over and above an A-level offer in maths, further maths, physics and computer science.

“It will fit with our ethos for a combination of excellence and widening participation and will be fully embedded within the Aston University family benefitting from shared resources and community.”

Daniel Locke-Wheaton, principal of Aston University Engineering Academy who is helping to set up AUMS, said:

“We are creating an outstanding sixth form school that uniquely emphasises the application of mathematics and computing to the modern digital and data-driven world.

“It will house cutting-edge facilities and provide a learning environment that equips pupils with the necessary skills to thrive in modern hybrid higher education delivery, and/or hybrid working environments.”

Currently the school is undergoing application for planned Trust status.

Find out more here

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