Budget 2017: What’s in it for schools?

The chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his budget speech in parliament, announcing a series of measures aimed at improving access to maths and computing in schools.

New investment in schools will include £177 million on maths and around £85 million on computing.

He said schools would benefit from…

  • Expansion of the Teaching for Mastery maths programme to a further 3,000 schools. This will cost £27 million
  • £40 million to train maths teachers across the country. This training will be delivered through new “Further Education Centres of Excellence”
  • The introduction of a £600 “maths premium” for schools, for “every additional pupil who takes A-level or core maths”. This was announced yesterday. More than £80 million will be available initially, and there is no cap on numbers, according to the Treasury
  • Invitation of proposals for new maths schools across England, with £350,000 available for each one set up from a fund of £18 million
  • The trial of a £1,000 “teacher development premium” for teachers working in “areas that have fallen behind”, with £42 million of initial funding to pay for continuing professional development opportunities
  • A guarantee that every secondary school pupil can study computing, ensured by trebling the number of trained computer science teachers to 12,000
  • An £8.5 million pilot that will test “innovative approaches” to improve GCSE maths resit outcomes
  • A new National Centre for Computing, which was announced earlier this week
  • No reduction in the VAT payment threshold, which could have affected schools and academies

Here’s what the chancellor said…

“Knowledge of maths is key to the high-tech, cutting edge jobs in our digital economy. But it is also useful in less glamorous roles. Such as frontline politics.

“So we’ll expand the Teaching for Mastery of Maths programme, to a further 3000 schools. We’ll provide £40 million to train maths teachers across the country. We’ll introduce a £600 Maths Premium for schools, for every additional pupil who takes A level or Core maths. And we’ll invite proposals for new maths schools across England.

So highly talented young mathematicians can release their potential wherever they live and whatever their background. More maths for everyone. Don’t let anyone say I don’t know how to show the nation a good time.”

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One comment

  1. James Mook

    “More maths for everyone. Don’t let anyone say I don’t know how to show the nation a good time.”

    And in that one short sentence he highlights one of the main issues. That it is OK in England to sneer at maths, that “maths is dull”. A throwaway sentence designed to make his side of the common chuckle, but one that deflates everything he’s said beforehand.