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September 2017 Local and National News

30 Sep 17
Rebecca Hanson
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I’ve been busy!

Please accept my apologies for the lack of posts recently.   I’ve been lucky enough to have work come my way without having to chase it so I’ve been concentrating on working rather than blogging and marketing.  I’ve been working with teachers and students in Cumbria but I’ve also been further afield running courses in the Liverpool area.

National News:

On 14th September the Government published important information about the future of primary assessment in England:

There are two essential pieces of information for maths.

  1. A tables test in year 4 will be extensively trialled in 2019 (for the current year 3) and will become statutory in 2020 (for the current year 2). This is going to present substantial challenges for many schools. I’m currently developing whole school INSET which is designed to help schools face this challenge head on.
  2. KS1 SATS are to become non-statutory in 2023 as the official baseline will become a new reception class baseline which will be trialled in 2019 and will become statutory in 2020.

More detail is in my summary of the report which is here.


I’ve been updating Authentic Maths courses to fit seamlessly with the training being provided by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM).  All Authentic Maths courses securely teach the ‘Representation and Structure’ aspect of mathematics mastery.  They also help teachers develop their understanding of the other aspects of mastery in ways that complement what their schools are already doing in these areas.


17 Mar 17
Rebecca Hanson
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Radio CumbriaOne of the best things about running your own business is that sometimes you can take time out do do other things you really care about, something that’s just not possible when you’re teaching.

In November & December last year I took 2 days out each week to campaign for our NHS services which are facing closure.  The campaign team needed a mathematician with political experience of and the ability to change the minds of experts.

Then I was asked if I would stand in the Copeland by-election.  I did this to try to get our local issues on the agenda.

I have substantial political experience from my years during the coalition government when I worked hard to challenge poor education policy.  I’m also an experienced local councillor.

Politics is not an easy thing to get involved with when you’re a teacher.  It can affect your employment and it can have a substantial impact on your family.   And its difficult too.  Learning to influence policy is a bit like learning to program machine code because simple programs like Word aren’t working – it’s frustrating at first, it takes time to learn how to do it and it’s annoying becuase you feel it shouldn’t be necessary. But it’s essential that experienced people from education do get involved if we’re going to connect policy with our world and, ultimately (hopefully), devolve most policy decisions in education to professionals again.  If you are thinking about getting involved and you would like my help to understand the world of politics please do contact me – I would like to help you if I can.  I don’t care which party you’re interested in joining.  All our parties need people with real experience in education.

Politics is tough but you can do a great deal of good.  And it can be liberating, exhilerating and exciting.  You get to see more of the world as it really is and some of the people you’ll meet will inspire you.  And if you’re at ease taking the flack challenging kids give you every day you’ll probably really enjoy the rough and tumble.

I’m back at work now and loving that.

Rebecca.  March 2017.

Picture: Recording the Radio Cumbria Debate for the Copeland By-Election.













Celebrating 250 teachers and teaching assistants trained

24 Nov 16
Rebecca Hanson
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What a year! Feeling incredibly lucky and privileged to have worked with 250 wonderful teachers and teaching assistants.  Thank you so much all of you.

All teachers are guaranteed to be able to teach every maths concept on their part of the curriculum effectively to a fully mixed ability class.

Picture with the wonderful Amy and Julie at Lowther today.


Signing off from Voom.

07 Jun 16
Rebecca Hanson
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For those who didn’t receive it, here’s a copy of my sign off message from the Virgin Voom competition.

If you missed the Border TV clip it’s here and if you missed the Mike Zeller interview it’s here at 0:50.

I feel the weight of the pain that children and teachers experience with the new primary maths curriculum and SATs.  Knowing that I have the answers they need but not being able to reach them is hard to bear.

There are various ways you may be able to help and I’d be tremendously grateful if you could take the time to read this final message.

Way to help Number 1: For people who know people in education.

I need to find other ways to make this work.  It can only be done if I can build a network of people who have tremendous experience (running cpd across different types of schools and different years) in maths education.  These people are disappearing fast as the structures which developed them are being shut down.

Please can you help me find them?  Everyone who works with me will need to have:
1. at least 10 years teaching experience across a variety of schools (either primary or bottom end heavy secondary maths).
2. been a successful school leader for maths education (primary numeracy co-ordinator or secondary head of maths).
3. a Masters level education qualification (not necessarily maths) and have engaged significantly with maths education research.
4. substantial experience of leading cpd.

Beyond that I will also be looking for people who could manage training across a substantial region.  As well as the above qualifications such people will also have:
5. A fluent knowledge of primary maths education research developed over many years.
6. Systemic leadership experience (e.g. being an LA advisor for a substantial period of time).

I need to identify everyone in the second category because there are so few people in this class and I want to work with, or carefully around so as not to interfere with the work of, every person who is.

Way to help Number 2: For people who have some spare cash.

I want to continue to pursue funding opportunities which will enable me to reach more teachers.  If you’ve some money to spare could you support me so I can do that please?  If you’re interested in supporting me in that way I would discuss with you precisely how I would spend your money.  For example £100 would buy me a train ticket to London on June 20th so I could go to the government briefing about support which is available for female entrepreneurs.

Way to help Number 3: For people who teach or know primary teachers in North Cumbria.

I’m desperate to get back to work.  While some people might feel I should be showing my gratitude for the many positive experiences participating in Virgin Voom has given me the reality is that I feel sad about the time I’ve been away from helping teachers.  Due to having cleared my diary to do this competition I now have availability in June on Mon 13th, Tues 14th, Tues 21st, Wed 22nd, Thurs 23rd and Mon 27th.  I’m offering any course half price – so just £125.  This makes me no profit but I’d just so much rather be working than not.  If your school can’t afford training even at that price then please get them to send me a letter detailing why because there are organisations out there which may be able to help but without your letter I can’t get you any help.

Way to help Number 4: For Cockermothians

If you’re local just please make me smile – or even better laugh – over the next few days.  And if you know anyone who could render my chimney cheaply please do tell me who! J xxx

Way to help Number 5: For people who watched the bid

Does anyone know who the judge on the right was?  She wanted help with her son with maths and I said she should get in touch but she’s probably too embarrassed to ask now I’m out the competition. I want to reassure her it’s still okay but I don’t know her name.

Thank you all so very, very much for your support.  It’s been truly overwhelming.  The Voom judges may not have been able to understand the bid but many truly inspiration people from the world of education and beyond did fully get it.  Thank you again.


07752 407153  @authenticmaths

Sue Hayman and the Times & Star supporting the Voom Bid

21 May 16
Rebecca Hanson
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Sue Hayman MP supporting the Authentic Maths Voom bid this morning – showing off yesterday’s Times & Star article.

Sue Hayman


Authentic Maths Radio Interview

18 May 16
Rebecca Hanson
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084Find out more about Rebecca Hanson and Authentic Maths.

Listen to this Business Innovators radio show.

The highs and lows of West Cumbria

17 May 16
Rebecca Hanson
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On the one hand the business community of West Cumbria couldn’t have been more wonderfully supportive and friendly.

On the other had there was no mobile network and no internet at Energus – so they couldn’t vote:

Aaaargh – everyone is convinced they will remember and promises they will rememer to vote but they just don’t remember.  🙁


Authentic Maths Virgin VOOM Press Release

09 May 16
Rebecca Hanson
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Authentic Maths Voom Bid May 2016FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Cumbrian Education Entrepreneur asks for public help.

As children take their SATs this week a busy Cockermouth lady who runs maths training for primary teachers has some precious time to think about the future.

Rebecca Hanson has been running courses in school non-stop since she launched her new maths training in January.  During SATs week no schools want training courses so Rebecca is planning how to expand her business so she can provide training for more schools. She entered Richard Branson’s Virgin Voom business video pitching competition.

Rebecca has asked for money to help her training more people to run her courses. You can help to make sure your local primary school has access to great maths training for its teachers by voting for her bid.  Watch the video of Rebecca’s ‘Authentic Maths’ bid and vote at

Voting closes on May 23rd 2016.  You need a Facebook or a LinkedIn account to vote.

About Rebecca Hanson :

Rebecca taught secondary maths in Cumbria and was the last Head of Mathematics at Ehenside School in Cleator Moor, helping to bring it out of special measures before it closed in 2008.  She then lectured in mathematics education at Manchester Metropolitan University, supervised PGCE students for the Open University and completed national mathematics education projects before retraining to lead primary maths professional development.  Rebecca is known for her high profile criticism of key aspects of current mathematics education policy and for her policy work on reforming Ofsted.  Authentic Maths provides primary mathematics professional development and is owned and run by Rebecca.


A photo from the video created for Rebecca’s Virgin Voom bid.


24th May TAs Training SOLD OUT

03 May 16
Rebecca Hanson
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Sold Out



The Excellence in Eden TAs training on May 24th at CREA is now completely sold out.  If you’d like to be informed about future events please contact India Campbell at Excellence in Eden: Email Tel: 01768 210206, like Authentic Maths on Facebook or follow @authenticmaths on Twitter.


More spaces added – KS2/3 TAs training Tues 24th May

17 Apr 16
Rebecca Hanson
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Great news – we’ve managed to secure a larger room for the Excellence in Eden KS2/3 TAs training on Tuesday 24th May.  Book quickly to secure your place and avoid disappointment. Contact India Campbell Email: Tel: 01768 210206.

KS2 TAs May 2016