Pupils across west London are hoping to become just as good as their Chinese counterparts after maths hubs aimed at boosting their skills were launched today (July 1).
St Marylebone CE School, in Westminster and Fox Primary School, in Ladbroke Grove now have a hub each in a bid to match the standards achieved in top-performing East Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore and China.
Education minister, Elizabeth Truss launched the two hubs today (July 1) which join 30 other schools and academy trusts who will lead hubs across England which are accessible to all schools in their areas.
The scheme, backed by £11million funding from the Department for Education, will follow the maths teaching methods applied in Shanghai, which was ranked first in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Assessment.
For Marylebone and Fox in particular - both of which already boast particularly high standards of maths - the hubs will assist in increasing the rate of students who go on to study maths in higher education, provide students who do not attend the hub-lead schools with access to more effective and demanding maths curricula and give teachers online access to lesson plans modelled on the most renowned curricula in the world.
The education minister said: “There is no reason why children in England cannot achieve the same standards in maths as those in Japan, Singapore and China. We put in more resources in England than in these countries and we have the best generation of teachers ever. Yet our children are two to three years behind by the age of 15.
“We must learn from the systematic practice of these high achieving countries, who are constantly seeking to improve. Maths hubs will bring this approach to all parts of the country and all schools will be able to benefit.
“Our hubs will allow teachers to learn from each other, helping to give them the confidence and knowledge they need to teach maths even more effectively.
“Maths is the most important subject for a child’s future - it commands the highest earnings, provides the best protection against unemployment and will get you everywhere, opening doors to dozens of careers.”
Academics from Shanghai Normal University and the UK’s National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths will help develop the programme and later this year, 50 teachers from Shanghai will be embedded in the hubs to teach pupils and help teachers.