WMCETT Mathematics Education Strategic Hub Thursday, January 30, 2014, 4-6pm

WMCETT Mathematics Education Strategic
Thursday, January 30, 2014, 4-6pm
1. Introductions and scene setting
There were apologies from Tina Richardson at Staffordshire University. The attendance was:
Julie Chamberlain
Kelvin Nash
North East Worcestershire College
Andrew Davies
Martin Newton
Stoke-on-Trent College
Norma Honey
Steve Pardoe
FE GCSE Maths Enhancement Support
Programme / WMCETT
Heather Knowles
Further Mathematics
Support Programme /
Mathematics Institute,
University of Warwick
Martyn Quigley
Further Mathematics Support
Programme / School of Mathematics,
University of Birmingham
Denis Lennon
Coventry Adult
Education Service
Jo Anna Reed
Sally Lucas
CWT Chamber Training
Richard Stakes
Centre for Professional Education,
University of Warwick
Further Mathematics Support
Programme Area Coordinator, School of
Computing and Mathematics, Keele
Fergus McKay
Larry Trueman
Hereward College
Jan Myatt
Walsall College
Fatin Wana
Birmingham Adult Education Service
2. Mathematics Enhancement Programme
Norma Honey gave a presentation about the background to the current GCSE Mathematics
Enhancement programme, the NCETM and the CETTs’ work across the regions. The scheme had
been commissioned by DfE and BIS to support the development and upskilling of teachers in the FE
sector, with 80 PD leads trained to teach on it by the end of May 2014.
Norma said she hoped that moving forward the MESH, NCETM and the CETTs could work closely
together to look at strategic developments around maths education and CPD.
Steve Pardoe gave an update about the programme in the West Midlands. Fatin Wana talked about
the huge increase in demand for maths courses within Birmingham Adult Education Service, from 17
classes last year to 29 this year, because of government policy and JobCentres and employers
wanting young people to have their GCSE maths and English. Martin Newton said at Stoke-on-Trent
College there was also going to be a big rise in demand next year, and that 16-19 cohorts seemed
more motivated now and knew the GCSE was very important.
3. Case studies
There were three case studies given by representatives of different parts of the sector:
1) Sally Lucas, of CWT Chamber Trading, said it was one of the largest providers of apprenticeships
in Coventry and Warwickshire with 1,000 apprentices in a huge range of jobs. Their learning had to
be planned around their work environments and the challenge was delivering functional skills,
increasingly at Level 2, to them. CWT was looking to structurally establish more specialist maths and
English tutors to deliver, and also to support vocational tutors in their engagement with the students
day by day. Sally said the current approach was targeting 16-19 year olds, but she had apprentices
aged 20+ who also struggled.
2) Fatin Wana, of Birmingham Adult Education Service, reiterated the increased demand for maths
and English classes. She said about 45 per cent of the BAES learners were from BME backgrounds
and English was not their first language – some had good academic skills but could not explain or
justify their answers. An additional 10 hours’ support was provided for some cohorts to focus on the
language of mathematics. A staff member had recently been appointed to work with vocational
tutors on embedding maths.
3) Jan Myatt from Walsall College talked about how the college delivered functional skills, including
having specialists linked to vocational clusters to support staff and students. Maths was delivered
through a project where students did a task and looked at the maths underneath it. It worked
because it engaged the learners, and hospitality students had last year asked for more maths. The
college had often taught one functional skill one year, and another the next, but now they were
having to be done at the same time.
There was a big increase in GCSE numbers and there was the question of whether students with a D
needed a pre-GCSE course. 2.5 full time GCSE maths tutors had put a diagnostic together. It had
been found to be hard to recruit maths specialist tutors. There were nine people on the GCSE Maths
Enhancement programme being run at the college and another doing it externally, and it was hoped
to put 20 people on the maths Vitaliser programme. The college maths and English strategies had
been rewritten. Maths and English were delivered in the timetable so students did not have to come
in specially for those classes, they were before a vocational class, or one side of lunchtime. Ofsted
said the maths was very well embedded in vocational lessons.
4. Discussion – future plans for the MESH
Norma Honey said the MESH should be looking at strategies that were needed for maths education
development, and become the strategic focus for maths and the ‘go to’ source of support. She could
also report back to the ETF on important issues being raised.
A national series of MESHs were also being established across the country for schools with £11.5
million funding.
The future purpose of the FE MESH includes support in the following areas:
Information, advice and guidance, and best practice for practitioners across the education sectors
Funding and research opportunities
Sharing resources
Training and development opportunities
5. Way forward and next meeting date
The meeting date was set for Thursday, April 3, 4-6pm in room WCE 0.9b, in the Centre for Lifelong
Learning at the University of Warwick. Julie Chamberlain would email everyone to ask what they
would like to see on the agenda.