The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) is working in partnership with the Centres for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETTs) and the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to establish high quality CPD provision for teachers of mathematics in the Further Education (FE) and skills sector. The NCETM GCSE Mathematics Enhancement Programme is a key part of this provision. It will enable teachers/trainers/tutors who are already involved in numeracy or functional skills teaching to enhance their knowledge so that they can teach GCSE effectively.
The programme has been designed to focus on those elements of mathematical subject content and subject pedagogy that enable teachers/trainers/tutors of numeracy and functional skills from the FE sector to begin the process of becoming good teachers of GCSE Mathematics. In order to benefit from participating in this programme it will normally be expected that participants will have at least a Level 2 qualification in Mathematics. The programme will particularly benefit those teachers/trainers/tutors within FE who:
- are successfully delivering to the 16-19 cohort, or have recent successful experience in teaching this age range, and
- are currently teaching discrete numeracy programmes at Level 2, and who wish to develop their knowledge and skills to teach GCSE Mathematics, and
- will be teaching GCSE Mathematics within a year of the programme.
As well as this group, the programme will also be of value to teachers of related technical/vocational and academic subjects (such as engineering or economics). The programme will help them develop valuable knowledge and skills, but would need to be further supplemented by modules addressing other core areas of mathematics: in particular, number.
This programme, available from autumn 2013, offers six days face-to-face activity, blended with personal development activities to provide a sustained professional development opportunity. The duration would normally be four months, but there is flexibility depending on the cohort.
It enables those teachers/trainers/tutors preparing to teach GCSE Mathematics to:
- self-assess their needs, with regard to their knowledge of the subject content of GCSE Mathematics;
- develop their subject knowledge and confidence in the teaching of mathematics at this level;
- further develop their pedagogical skills, including making appropriate use of technology to engage learners in mathematics;
- have access to a range of resources for teaching GCSE Mathematics;
- gain a deep understanding of the content of GCSE Mathematics and of the needs of students re-taking the qualification.
Each of the four subject content modules focuses on a key area of higher tier GCSE Mathematics which will not have been addressed when teaching level 2 courses:
- Statistics and data handling
The NCETM is working with the CETTs to identify Professional Development (PD) Leads who can deliver the programme. The PD Leads are expert practitioners within the FE sector, whom the NCETM will train and prepare for their role.
As well as running the face-to-face days, the PD Leads will be available to provide on-line support to the community of participants between the modules, and there is an expectation that a teacher/trainer/tutor’s organisation will provide added support between the modules. This is a vital dimension, as the target audience for the programme need sustained support for their professional development while they take on the GCSE role. The PD Leads will also be able to contribute to the wider mathematics CPD provision co-ordinated by the strategic hubs.
At the end of 2012, the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned the NCETM to develop CPD materials for an enhancement programme for numeracy/functional skills teachers. In early 2013, the NCETM developed four modules for the programme and trialled these with teachers from over 20 FE colleges. In light of the feedback and evaluation from teachers and observers the modules were revised in the spring and summer and the NCETM also further developed the programme into its current six day format.
In summer 2013, a delivery model for the programme was agreed. The DfE and the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) asked the CETTS to co-ordinate the delivery of the enhancement programme. The DfE also commissioned the NCETM to train and support PD Leads for the sector. The ETF has oversight of the delivery of the programme and is providing a significant subsidy to participants from the FE and skills sector.
The NCETM is also working with the CETTs, leading colleges and training providers to establish strategic hubs in each region that will identify and subsequently meet maths-specific CPD needs. The first priority for the hubs will be to ensure that all FE providers have access to the NCETM FE GCSE Mathematics Enhancement Programme.
If your college or training provider has teachers/trainers/tutors who would benefit from participation on the Enhancement Programme or your organisation would like to host a cohort then please contact the CETT mathematics lead in your region. The full list of CETT contacts can be found here.
Your organisation may well have capacity to be involved in the delivery of the programme. In particular, you may have an expert practitioner who could be trained as an NCETM accredited PD Lead and then deliver the programme to teachers/trainers/tutors in your own setting and beyond. In this case, please see the information about the NCETM Professional Development Lead Support Programme (FE).