School Academics featured in Department for Education report for its plan to transform opportunities for young people in Stoke-on-Trent

The Department for Education has published its plan to transform opportunities for young people in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Stoke-on-Trent Delivery Plan details the strategy for reducing barriers to social mobility and is supported by a share of £72 million in funding to boost opportunities for children and young people in the community.

It is great to see that a lot of the great work already being done by the Mathematics Department at Keele University in its Partnership role with the Stoke-on-Trent Mathematics Excellence partnership is recognised.

“In maths the Denise Coates Foundation and Stoke-on-Trent City Council have jointly invested in the Maths Excellence Partnership (MEP), a powerful collaboration between Keele University, Stoke Sixth Form College and secondary schools across the city.

The MEP has four key priorities:

  • to improve outcomes for students in Stoke-on-Trent;
  • recruit and retain high quality graduates from School Centred Initial Teacher Training Institutes (SCITTs) in the city;
  • to develop the expertise of existing maths teachers;
  • to build capacity and leadership in the teaching and learning of maths.

The MEP has seen improvements across all four priorities. For example, at GCSE the English and maths A*-C pass rate improved from 50.4% to 55.8%; and GCSE maths grades at A and A* increased from 9.8% to 12.5%, faster than the national rate.”

Dr David Bedford and Prof Graham Rogerson sit on the steering group for the MEP and many events for young people have already been held at the University, including Year 8 Royal institution Masterclasses organised by David Bedford who has also supported with the planning and delivering of Key Stage 3 and GCSE intervention events and A level maths conferences.

One of the actions for the Opportunity Area team is to “work in partnership with the two universities to expand undergraduate internships in local schools to help develop the teaching workforce of the future, building on the work of the Maths Excellence Partnership (MEP) in deploying maths undergraduates from Keele University”

The Internship scheme for maths undergraduates has run successfully for the past two years and gives students the opportunity to spend up to seven weeks in a Stoke-on-Trent Secondary School. This has led to an increasing number of graduates from Keele training to teach mathematics in the City.

The Mathematics Department also have second and third year Education modules led by Dr David Bedford which also include school experience and Students also run Funmaths roadshows in local schools.

Athena Swan