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NCETM Press Background Information

The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) is a Government initiative to improve teaching and learning in mathematics at all stages of education.

It supports the professional development of teachers of mathematics through: the coordination of existing provision; the promotion of government initiatives; the identification of areas where more resources are needed; and the creation of an online learning environment and interactive, tailored tools including a professional development framework and a directory of all professional development available to teachers of mathematics.

The National Centre has over 300 000 registered users and provides an online community for teachers of mathematics to explore professional development resources, share good practice, and access growing networks.

Through a programme of funded projects to teachers working collaboratively to explore professional development, the National Centre has funded many regional projects and supported a further series of initiatives with regional STEM networks.

The Department for Education and Skills [now the Department for Education (DfE)] set up the National Centre in response to Professor Adrian Smith’s report Making Mathematics Count. The report found that the number of learners studying mathematics after the age of 16 had declined, and that mathematics is too often seen as difficult; there was also concern over the need for supporting and growing teachers of mathematics.

Tribal Group plc was awarded the contract, initially in partnership with the University of Plymouth, and now managed by a consortium, to deliver the National Centre with Government funding of £15 million until 2009, extended to 2011, to 2016, and again to 2019. Tribal Group is one of the fastest-growing companies supporting the public sector today. The Group's activities cover the full spectrum of strategic and operational support services including consulting, property, technology, resourcing, education and communications.

Journalists seeking additional information on the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics during office hours should email an enquiry to info@ncetm.org.uk.

Outside office hours, please contact the NCETM Communications Director Steve McCormack on 07799 285031 or 07802 418576.