New maths hubs to open in Cheshire and Lancashire

Two new maths hubs will open in Cheshire and central Lancashire, taking the total number operating nationally to 37.

Nick Gibb, the schools minister, will announce today that £1.75 million of existing funding will be handed to the two projects in the north of England.

Maths hubs are each run by a lead school or college, and offer other schools in their area access to free or subsidised CPD, information about local maths activities and allows them to participate in a network of “local leaders of maths education”. The government is yet to name the “lead” schools for the two new hubs.

The first 32 maths hubs were backed with £11 million of funding, and there are now 35 open nationwide.

Funding for the two new hubs comes from the £70 million northern powerhouse schools strategy fund, which was announced last year.

A further £4.25 million of northern powerhouse cash will be spent on rolling out the government’s Teaching for Mastery maths programme to schools in the north.

The maths mastery programme is a model of teaching based on practices in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong schools. It is unclear whether the extra cash to extend the project to the north comes on top of the £27 million investment in maths mastery announced at the budget last autumn, or forms part of that sum.

The government claims to have spent £74 million on the maths mastery project so far, with much of the work led by the maths hubs.

Ministers has also made another call for universities to come forward to run new specialist maths schools. Schools Week revealed last week how several leading universities have shunned the government’s offer of extra cash to open a new school.

“Today’s announcement will help ensure more children in the north have access to a world-class maths education,” said Nick Gibb.

Assistant maths hub leads across “low engagement” areas of the north will also be created. Their task will be to develop better partnerships between schools and their local maths hub. However, it is not known whether further funding will be available for these roles.

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