Since 2010, the world of English maths education has become more and more dysfunctional. Most teachers and schools now feel forced to slavishly follow government-endorsed detailed schemes of work because they cannot take the risk of being blamed for failure. What else would you expect to happen if you introduce a curriculum which teaches maths to children younger than anywhere else in the world without trialling or consulting it? What else would you expect if you abolish consultation and ignore all expert advice?
Across the UK there are still innovative private providers of education CPD which support the teachers who think outside of the box and who try to do more than just follow detailed maths lesson planning written for them by someone else. But is it very hard for these providers to survive because;
- all schools are being avalanched with free government-backed training and resources at the same time as they are being hit by very serious cuts.
- the DfE will only support initiatives that preach the deeply-flawed government line
- the government-backed resources and schemes are ‘all consuming’ because they are inefficient, so teachers have little or no free time to innovate around them.
- In stark contrast to 10 years ago – government-backed providers now appear to have no duty to work collaboratively with other providers.
And so, as part of the way forward, I’ve found it’s necessary to develop a unique social purpose for Authentic Maths which is this:
- To provide (freesharing wherever possible) core resources and training that enable schools to take the journey from relying on detailed planning which is written for them to having professional oversight of their teaching and being able to teach in more efficient and effective ways.
- To stick to this unique work and not to stray into the domains of other independent providers – instead to recommend their work, resources and services.
- To provide whatever support I can on a personal level to other independent providers of services, whether this is recommendations, mentoring, promotion on LinkedIn, training, or listening to their concerns about national maths education policy.
Any UK provider of maths education resources or services who feels this applies to them is warmly invited to contact me.
post script – noticing some of the comments of and conversations between other private providers – I would also like them to know that I can offer them support to enter politics should they wish to do so. I support people across all parties. Being involved in politics has given me access to journeys of professional development which have trained me to work at very senior levels, had enabled me to do extremely valuable things for the children and for the world of education in many ways and also brings me an income which supports my business. These days it’s practically impossible for those working in schools to engage with politics in this way. But it’s perfectly possible for private providers too. It actually fits really well for many.