Wilberforce Sixth Form College, based on Saltshouse Road in Hull, has recently been chosen as one of only 21 colleges in England to be the first to establish a ‘Maths Centre for Excellence’ for the region.
These new centres were first announced last year as the Government’s response to Sir Adrian Smith’s review of post-16 maths education, which recommended improving re-sit maths for young people over the age of 16.
These innovative centres are tasked with improving the quality of GCSE maths provision for young people over the age of 16. Their other objectives are to design new and improved teaching approaches, develop high-quality teaching resources, build teachers’ skills and spread best practice across the country through maths networks. Each centre will be led by an “exceptional post-16 institution” and the chosen colleges are spread across the country to ensure that there is at least one in every region of England.
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in October, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said many schools and colleges now excelled at teaching maths and English. “However, there is more to do,” he said, explaining that the new Centres for Excellence would “test and share new ways to teach students who are re-sitting their maths GCSE”.
Recently implemented changes in strategy and teaching methods used in the Maths Department at Wilberforce are already showing signs of early success as new Principal, Colin Peaks, details:
‘Centres for Excellence are expected to spread mathematical expertise for the benefit of students and teachers across their nominated network. As new Principal I’m immensely proud that we’ve been singled out as best in the region for this task and pleased to report our staff are already rising to meet the challenge. We’re looking forward to even better results in our Maths GCSE scores this summer and to sharing good practice with other Colleges in East Yorkshire.’
Only two other Colleges in the Yorkshire and Humber area were chosen as Centres of Excellence for Maths which are Leeds City College and Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education.