We are delighted to report that we have been successful in our bid to become a National Maths Hub. There were 270 expressions of interest from across the country competing to take on the role and, following a rapid but complex application process, the final 30 has been announced.
Woodroffe will be named as the lead school but the intention is to ensure that leadership is quickly distributed across the region and that as many schools as possible become involved.
Ours was undoubtedly an exceptionally strong bid involving as it did six teaching school alliances, the South West Academic Trust (i.e. most of the grammar schools in the West Country), and the universities of Exeter, Southampton and Plymouth. We also have the strong support of Babcock, Devon, and Dorset LA.
The alliances involved are:
- South West Academic Trust
- Twynham Learning Alliance
- Teaching Alliance of Dorset Special Schools
- East Dorset Alliance
- Poole Teaching School Alliance
- Wessex Teaching School Alliance
The Maths Hub idea has been introduced at a frantic pace and this will continue up until the end of this term. There is a two-day introductory conference in Manchester on the 18th and 19th of June and a formal launch in London in July. An action plan has to be written before the end of term and the expectation is that the Hub begins work in September. This is a challenging timetable, to say the least.
Schools involved will take part in a range of local and national projects, the first of which is a second Shanghai exchange programme. The focus this time is on primary education and we will therefore need to find two primary colleagues prepared to host a Chinese teacher and to visit Shanghai.
The purpose of Maths Hubs has been expressed by the DfE and NCETM as a resolute focus on pupils’ maths outcomes:
- improved levels of achievement
- increased levels of participation
- improved attitudes to learning
- closing the gaps between groups
Maths Hubs will enable and will further develop:
- school-led subject system-leadership
- high impact collaboration and partnership
- innovation in teaching and teacher development
- effective use of specialist expertise and evidence
The Hub will cater for all schools and colleges that choose to seek support from the Maths Hub so that they become the “go to” source of support, expertise and collaboration for teachers and leaders. Depending on the region, there are likely to be 600+ schools/colleges in an area covered by a hub.
The structure of the Hubs will comprise:
A Lead School – Providing the visionary and co-ordinating leadership
Strategic partners – Working with the lead school to provide strategic leadership for the hubs
Operational partners – Further local leadership and specialist expertise to support the whole area.
There will be funding for the following key people:
A Maths lead:
- An Expert practitioner with experience as a successful subject leader who is skilled in supporting collaboration
A Senior leader:
- Someone skilled in building, facilitating and evaluating networks and partnerships
A Hub administrator:
- To Manage communications, events and working groups
The bulk of the work will involve the following activities:
- Teacher professional development
- Leadership development
- Development of schemes of work and resources
- Pupil enrichment
This is a fantastic opportunity for the alliance and is certain to add to our rapidly developing portfolio of collaborative activities.