Specialist Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics (Secondary Non-specialist Teachers) Programme

Develop mathematical subject knowledge and understand the pedagogy that underpins the teaching of it

This project is designed to support non-specialist teachers teaching maths in a secondary school in developing specialist knowledge for teaching mathematics, thus enabling them to understand, teach and support students in maths in the classroom. It replaces the earlier TSST programme.

If you are a headteacher or senior leader, and want to know more about the programme and its suitability for teachers in your school, watch this video.

Who can take part?

This programme is for non-specialist teachers of maths in state-funded schools in England who fit the following definition:

"A non-specialist teacher of mathematics is a teacher in a state-funded school or college that is currently teaching some mathematics or has commitment from a headteacher/executive head to teach some mathematics within the next year, who has not undertaken Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in mathematics."

What is involved?

There are significant numbers of people teaching maths in secondary schools without specialist initial teacher training. This programme supports non-specialist teachers in developing the specialist knowledge (the blend of subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge) required for teaching maths.

It is designed to take place over the equivalent of six days.

What will you learn?

  • Your students will think, reason and discuss their maths in order to deepen their understanding
  • You will explore and increase your use of a range of pedagogic approaches aligned to the principles of teaching for mastery
  • You will develop your subject and curriculum knowledge of secondary maths 

What do participants think?

  • "This programme has deepened my understanding of the representations and given me new strategies that I can use with my students in the classroom" – Emily
  • "It is helping me reflect as a teacher. I don’t have a maths degree and although I can do the maths myself, it is all different from how I was taught before. My department has done a lot of work on teaching for mastery and this is helping me make sense of the work the faculty are doing" – Sam
  • "This is my first year teaching maths, and I hadn’t heard of teaching for mastery before – this programme gives you so many different ways of thinking and approaching problems" – Jessica
  • "In terms of planning lessons, I will now use the NCETM resources in my planning – I can now think more deeply" – Ali
  • "As a non-specialist, this course has enabled me to use the correct terminology and assisted in the way I structure my lessons" – Simon
  • "I am finding it really useful to see different ways of explaining or teaching concepts" – Su
  • "I find this really helpful […] it’s the ways to deliver the content that I find most useful, and correcting my misconceptions” – Phil
  • "It's making me see the different ways that concepts can be approached" – Jane
  • "My subject knowledge has gaps in maths – I am learning a great deal" – Francesca
  • "It’s helping me build confidence, in particular with using correct vocabulary and learning different ways of delivering certain topics" – Carl

What about a head of maths?

  • "From attending the programme, the non-specialist teacher's confidence in his maths and the teaching of maths has improved. The expectations of his students are now higher. During lessons, subject-specific language is being used by students and they are expected to explain their methods using this language. Manipulatives and representations are a regular feature of the teacher's lessons and this has supported students in understanding the structure of the maths" – Karen, Head of Maths Department

What is the cost?

The SKTM Secondary Non-specialist Teachers Programme is fully funded by the Maths Hubs Programme so is free to participating schools.

What should you do next?

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

  • Secondary


All Maths Hubs

Can I take part?

Yes - contact your local hub

Project Code


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The NCETM is led and delivered by Tribal Education Services, with MEI as a key partner. Learn more about Tribal Education Services and what they do via the link to their website in 'About the NCETM'.

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