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Newsflash (x2)

03 Nov 14
Rebecca Hanson
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The excellent program “The Trouble with Numbers” featuring Jo Boaler and other key figures in maths education is now available on itvplayer until 30 November 2014 at

Availability of Jo Boaler’s free MOOC – How to Learn Math (For Students) has been extended until 30 September 2015.  It takes about 6 hours to complete.  Well worth a look – it’s available here:




Feature – Free from Jo Boaler

27 Oct 14
Rebecca Hanson
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Jo Boaler PicJo Boaler is a top UK professor of mathematics education who currently works at Stanford University in the US.  She often returns to the UK and was very recently back to film for the ITV Tonight Show special on maths which will be shown this Thursday 30th October at 7:30pm.

She was featured in the Radio 4 series ‘The Educators’.  Her episode is available on iplayer here.

In 2013 Jo ran a free MOOC (mass open online course) for mathematics teachers which was completed by over 40,000 people.

Her current MOOC is available free here until 15th December 2014.  It takes just 6 hours to complete and explores some key ideas in school maths education.  It’s targeted at (and presented by) young adult learners of mathematics who’ve not been confident with GCSE standard maths, so most teachers will find it enjoyable, relaxing, fun and insightful. Why not register now and have a look?  It costs nothing to register and you’re not committed to completing the course.

Jo publishes lots of free resources for maths teachers on her website.  This site is well worth exploring as there are some great mathematical tasks to download on it.  Jo also publishes some of her papers on, the most recent of which is a direct attack on current UK policies on the rote learning of multiplication facts.  It contains lots of sound advice on how children should learn multiplication results.

Goodbye to old networks

12 Oct 14
Rebecca Hanson
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Although it was very hard to say goodbye to such a great group of people, I am tremendously grateful for having had the chance to be part of the inspirational network of OU PGCE Mathematics Tutors.

Having the chance to reflect on mathematics education with other dedicated and very experienced teachers with diverse experiences must surely be the most powerful form of professional development.

Don’t forget that we do have an active branch of the ATM here in north Cumbria.  It will be meeting this Friday.

If you’d to come or if you’d like to help me create the networks of the future please do contact me.


Rebecca Hanson – policy campaigner

12 Oct 14
Rebecca Hanson
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Libdem conference speaking autumn 2014

Rebecca Hanson from Authentic Maths has been fighting for policy reform on Ofsted at the Liberal Democrats Annual Conference in Glasgow.  You can see her here (at 2:10)during October while the conference is still live on iplayer.

October Update – Good News!

07 Oct 14
Rebecca Hanson
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Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson

Following the disappointing news that the Cumbria bid for a Maths Hub was unsuccessful, I have decided to refocus Authentic Maths.

There is not enough professional development in mathematics education available for teachers in Cumbria, especially in the west where it’s so hard to do a day trip to Manchester.

So I’ve employed Elizabeth Anderson to work with me for a month (through October) to help me relaunch Authentic Maths so that it will focus on building professional development for teachers which is based in West Cumbria.

More soon!

National Assessment Reform Report 1 September 2014

31 Aug 14
Rebecca Hanson
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By June it seemed that important conversations about pending national assessment reforms were failing to happen effectively because people had lost track on what’s going on.

I’ve therefore spent the summer talking to many people from subject associations, unions and awarding bodies to try concisely describe the current position.

This short report summarises the pending changes to national assessment at 4/5, 6/7, 10/11, 15/16 and 17/18.  It attempts to list the key concerns about the reforms and to describe the likely imminent calls for modifications.  Please feel free to download it and to use it or adapt it for any purpose for the benefit of education.

It can be downloaded as a pdf here:
National Assessment Reform Where are we now 1 Sept 2014
and as a word document here:
National Assessment Reform Where are we now 1 Sept 2014

If you have any questions please do contact me.


April Update

15 Apr 14
Rebecca Hanson
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storm clouds at st bees
Storm Clouds passing St. Bees (photo unaccredited from the internet – if this photo belongs to you please contact me as I would like to give credit for it).

Wow – things have so busy I didn’t even have time to write about the launch of my business.

It’s been wonderful meeting so many inspiring leaders in schools across Cumbria and I’m hugely positive about what we can achieve.

In these troubled times there are dark storm clouds and brilliant glimpses of sunshine.  Which will win through?  How will the weather resolve?

The brightest hope comes from Cumbria’s response to the potential of maths hubs funding.  It seems that everyone has stepped up to the mark and all things are possible as schools, universities, subject associations, businesses and support organisations are committed to working together.  We’ll have to see if we make it through the initial expression of interested and are invited to put in a full bid.

Meanwhile the policy thunderclouds loom, shooting out occasional bolts of lightening, the latest of which is the publication of the test frameworks for the new national curriculum.  So I won’t be on this website much as I’ll be spending what little free time I have trying to campaign against these new exams which will force all primary schools (be they free schools or academies) to teach the new national curriculum for mathematics in all it’s gory glory.  Wish me luck!

Meanwhile I’m afraid I need to turn of comments on this site as I’ve had over 300 spam comments in the last few days.  If you have a comment please do message me and I’ll gladly publish your comment.

2014 Primary Mathematics Curriculum is Not Fit for Purpose

31 Dec 13
Rebecca Hanson
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Following the writing of my first report on the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in December I have been corresponding with the key people involved in its development.

As a results of their comments I have written a second report which calls for the immediate suspension of the implementation of the 2014 Primary National Curriculum for Mathematics. This new report dated 6 Jan 2014 can be downloaded here: Fundamental Problems with the 2014 Primary National Curriculum for Mathematics.

The press release which accompanies this report can be downladed here:
Call for Suspension of New Primary Mathematics Curriculum.

6 JAN FAULT: If you experience problems downloading the report an alternative version (without hyperlinks) can be downloaded from the Times Educational Supplement site.

Please use the contact form if you would like a copy of the press release.

A report for primary schools on the new National Curriculum

11 Dec 13
Rebecca Hanson
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A free report for primary schools on the new Primary Mathematics National Curriculum is available here:

The Challenges of Implementing the New Primary National Curriculum

Report Cover

This concise report provides clear information for schools on the content and development of the 2014 Primary National Curriculum.  It focuses in particular on the mathematics curriculum, comparing it with the previous curricula schools have used since 2010 and with respected international curricula.

The report concludes with ten suggestions for schools regarding first steps to take.

Fun for parents in 2014

11 Dec 13
Rebecca Hanson
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I originally thought that Authentic Maths would focus on providing support for primary school.  However the feedback from parents who’ve tried it has been so great that I’ve decided to restructure the business and focus on this service instead.  This is a big change and so explains why the full business launch has been delayed.  Authentic Maths is now scheduled for formal launch in February 2014.

In the meantime please do ‘like’ Authentic Maths on Facebook.

Another benefit of and reason for this change of focus is I feel more comfortable writing honestly about the new primary mathematics curriculum if I am not also marketing Authentic Maths’ services to primary heads.