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New Website Launch by Mathematics Teaching Centre

The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) have launched a website to aid the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) initiative.

It is hoped that the site will stimulate debate and involvement by helping to motivate learners. The centre will help them to achieve greater progress in mathematics by improving skills and knowledge. The scheme is in response to recommendations made in Professor Adrian Smith’s report ” Making Mathematics Count”.

The new initiative will provide leadership for the continuing professional development of maths teachers from primary school to college level. As a result, maths lessons, which many students dread and dislike, should be transformed into more stimulating and engaging learning experiences. The aim is to encourage more pupils to take “A” Level maths thus widening the pool of highly qualified teachers.

How to Make this a Virtual Reality”¦

The centre is being run under a three-year contract from the DfES, by public sector specialist, Tribal Group plc. The group is working in partnership with the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching at the University of Plymouth, and working closely with key stakeholders including the Training and Development Agency for Schools, the Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education, the National Strategies, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

Tribal will use their previous experience where they developed and delivered an online learning environment for science teacher and technicians. Costing £15 million, the government programme to drive the centre will be formally launched in June 2006. Until then an interim website can be found by clicking here outlining the roll-out plan. Teacher and other key stakeholders are encouraged to get involved.

Developing Resources

The NCETM will be a virtual centre with a web portal to support activities. There will also be resources at regional and local level. For the moment, activities will focus on identifying regional pathfinder schools and colleges, training regional hubs, school and colleges and creating links with business and commerce before the site is fully established in June 2006.

The development of resources has already started and will included activities for teaching and continuing professional development, online tests with value added analysis, networking forums for expert teachers, international links and targeted support for teachers of various abilities.

A DfES spokesperson said: “We are confident that the National Centre will drawn in support from across the mathematics community and put the country in an excellent position to rise to the challenges of teaching and learning mathematics in the 21st century.”

Angela Balakrishnan

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