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3 November 2016, 06:14
The Education Secretary's announced £800,000 is being spent in Wales to try and improve maths skills in schools and colleges
Kirsty Williams says both pupils and teachers will get more help increasing their knowledge,
"Education reform is our national mission. Working together we will ensure that our young people have an equal opportunity to reach the highest standards. We must now work together to get the basics right, raising our standards and ambitions for excellence for all pupils, parents, students and teachers.
“High standards in maths in our schools and colleges is fundamental to this and will help us reduce the attainment gap and ensure every child in Wales has the opportunity to reach their full potential. This new National Network of Excellence will help us achieve this.
“Our performance at the top grades in maths show what Wales can achieve. This new network will see schools, education consortia and universities working together for the benefit of all our pupils. It will mean extra support, new development opportunities for teachers and access to the latest research and expert advice"
It's hoped the money will help create a new network providing a structured approach for mathematics support for ages three to 18 with the organisations involved working together to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and numeracy in schools and colleges.
The network’s work will include
•Extra support to develop leadership in maths and help schools work together in support of higher standards.
•Supporting teachers, teaching assistants, further education lecturers and others to develop improved classroom practice.
•Schools and colleges will receive guidance, access to conferences and events on effective teaching practice.
•New accredited evidence-based professional development programmes for staff to improve their mathematics knowledge, and the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Tim Pratt, Director of the Association of School and College Leaders Cymru, said
"We welcome this initiative. However, we would also urge the Welsh government to urgently address the issue of teacher supply in Wales to ensure that schools are able to recruit high-quality maths teachers.. Schools are reporting difficulties in recruiting maths teachers with the right level of skills and training they need. We would be very happy to work with the Welsh government to develop strategies to address this situation.
"We would also urge caution that this latest initiative does not further skew the curriculum which is already dominated by maths, English/ Welsh and science. These are obviously very important subjects but so are other subjects, and we need to ensure that pupils are taught a broad and balanced curriculum."