Post-16 GCSE and FSQ Mastery Specialists

Become a Mastery Specialist in Further Education

Following the success of the Primary and Secondary Mastery Specialist Programmes, Maths Hubs, working in conjunction with the NCETM, are now seeking applications from Further Education establishments that wish to nominate ‘lead teachers’ to take part in an important two-year professional development programme leading to the designation of Post-16 GCSE/FSQ Mastery Specialist. The programme is aimed at those who teach GCSE Mathematics resit and/or Functional Skills Qualifications (FSQs).

More information about Further Education Mastery Specialists can be found in the news item Mastery Specialists in GCSE Resit and Functional Skills.

Who can take part?

The programme is for practitioners of post-16 GCSE Maths resit and/or Functional Skills Maths who are currently employed in a post-16 setting and regularly teaching maths to students aged

Participants must have at least two years’ experience teaching post-16 GCSE/FSQ maths, with the capacity to lead change within their own institutions. They may be based in FE colleges, Sixth Form colleges, or other post-16 settings.

What is involved?

Participating FE establishments will nominate a lead teacher to develop as a Mastery Specialist and follow a minimum two-year programme.

The programme has an initial training year, followed by a second year and beyond in which specialists support others. It equips participants with the knowledge and skills to develop highly effective approaches to the teaching of GCSE Maths resit and Functional Skills Maths, using the principles of teaching for mastery.

Two cohorts will run in 2023/24: a Trailblazer cohort, and Cohort 1.

  • Trailblazer cohort will start in the summer term 2023. This is a pilot programme for a small number of participants who will have the opportunity to evaluate content and inform planning for Cohort 1. The Trailblazer cohort will be approximately three to four months ahead of Cohort 1 in their training and development. Members of the Trailblazer cohort will become members of the Local Leaders of Mathematics Education (LLME) community within their Maths Hub.
  • Cohort 1 will start in the autumn term 2023 and will form the first full cohort of 40 Mastery Specialists.

During the first year, for both the Trailblazer cohort and Cohort 1, the emphasis will be on the lead teacher developing their knowledge, understanding and skills of teaching for mastery in their own establishment.

Upon completion of the first year of the programme, participants will join a collaborative cohort of Mastery Specialists according to their provision type. Participants will continue to develop teaching for mastery approaches in their own institutions, working with their colleagues whilst being supported by peers in the collaborative cohort.

More information about the time commitment for participants and their FE establishment can be found in the programme information document. Please ensure you download and read this document before submitting an application.

What will you learn?

  • Your students will develop a secure and connected understanding of the maths they are learning
  • Your students will report increased confidence in using maths
  • You will develop classroom practices aligned to the principles of teaching for mastery, as exemplified for the post-16 GCSE/FSQ sector
  • You will, over time, become part of the Maths Hubs LLME Community

What is the cost?

The Post-16 GCSE/FSQ Mastery Specialist Programme is fully funded by the Maths Hubs Programme so is free to participating schools/institutions.

What should you do next?

Get in touch with your local Maths Hub to find out about more about this opportunity.

  • Post-16


Most Maths Hubs – check with your local hub and those in neighbouring areas

Can I take part?

Contact your hub to find out about eligibility

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