Half of primary schools move to maths mastery approach

The DfE has announced that 8,000 English primary schools – half of the country’s total number – will copy the south Asian style of teaching maths used in high-performing regions including Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong. The scheme will see a ?41m investment, some of which will fund training of an initial 700 teachers to support schools in adopting “maths mastery”. So far 140 teachers from primary schools in England have been trained by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics to help schools adopt the approach, which is already used in a number of schools following a teacher exchange programme between England and Shanghai. Schools Minister Nick Gibb said he hopes the change means “that the too-often heard phrase ‘can’t do maths’ is consigned to the past.” Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, commented: “Support for the more effective teaching of maths is always welcome, especially when it is not forced on schools,” while Malcolm Trobe, of the ASCL, stressed the importance of continuing to evaluate the approach to ensure that the benefits translate into the UK system. Elsewhere, the Government has said it will continue to explore whether it should make maths compulsory up to the age of 18.

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