Government has approved plans for a specialist Mathematics School to be created through an association between two outstanding education institutions - Lancaster University and Cardinal Newman College - in Preston.
Selecting from the most able 16 to 19-year-old students from across Lancashire, the ‘Lancaster University School of Maths, in association with Cardinal Newman College’, aims to welcome its first cohort in September 2020, and will act as a regional centre of excellence for delivering Mathematics teaching at A-Level.
The School of Maths will attract students from all backgrounds, helping raise aspirations, unlock potential and help propel young people on their journey towards successful careers. Cardinal Newman College is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and ranked fourth nationally for ‘A-Level progress’ by Government league tables.
Students attending the School of Maths will benefit from an intellectually stimulating and challenging programme developed in partnership with academics from Lancaster University, a UK top-ten ranked institution that has one of the most highly rated Departments of Mathematics and Statistics in the country and which has a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.
The School, which will be located near to the main campus of Cardinal Newman College, will provide high-quality resources, exceptional teaching, and stretching content, ensuring an environment where talented and passionate young mathematicians can thrive and excel.
It will equip students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to bridge the gap towards undertaking higher-education degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.
In addition to providing A-Levels in Maths and Further Maths, the school will also provide A-Levels in other highly numerate subjects such as physics and computing. Students will also benefit from the wide range of other courses on offer at Cardinal Newman College, ensuring a vibrant student body with a diverse range of interests.
The Maths School will have an initial capacity of around 100 students, rising to around 250 over five years.
Maths is a skills area which is one of the most highly in demands by employers and the Government is determined, through its Industrial Strategy, to raise the number of people studying it at A-Level.
The creation of the Lancaster University School of Maths is in direct response to a call from Government for the UK’s top universities to take a leading role in establishing new Maths Schools - helping meet the demand for maths skills in the workforce.
The Government has pledged to provide an additional £350,000 funding each year for new Maths Schools supported by the UK’s most selective mathematics universities.
Schools Minister Lord Agnew said: “Maths schools support talented young people to reach their potential by tapping into the expertise of top universities – and Ofsted has found that they excel in recruiting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to fulfil their potential.
“I’m confident that this exciting partnership between Lancaster University and Cardinal Newman College will build on those successes and boost the prospects of talented mathematicians in the region.”
The creation of the School of Maths builds on Lancaster University’s extensive school and civic outreach work and complements its long-standing commitment to supporting the wideningparticipating agenda in education and helping remove barriers to social mobility.
Working alongside the Central Lancashire Maths Hub and secondary schools across the region, the School of Maths will spread teaching expertise, help raise mathematics outcomes across the wider region and also talent-spot young people with an aptitude for mathematics, nurturing them and supporting them towards advanced study.
Professor Sharon Huttly, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, at Lancaster University, said: “We are very proud to support the creation of the Lancaster University School of Mathematics, in association with Cardinal Newman College. By providing challenging and intellectually rigorous programmes created in partnership with world-class academics at Lancaster University, and through the additional outreach work the school will undertake in partnership with secondary schools across the region, the maths school will provide a significant boost to the teaching of maths in the North West and help deliver the skills needed for the UK to remain competitive in a global economy.”
Cardinal Newman Principal, Nick Burnham said: “We are thrilled to be launching this joint initiative with Lancaster University. We always want to be able to give students of Lancashire the best possible education and experiences and feel that the Lancaster University School of Maths will provide a fantastic opportunity for mathematicians to thrive.”
Dr Alexander Belton, Head of Lancaster University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, which was recently ranked within the top 10 nationally by the Complete University Guide, said: “The Department is delighted to be collaborating with Cardinal Newman College on this exciting project. Our staff and students will work with School of Maths students to support their learning, enhance the curriculum and help bridge the gap between school and undergraduate-level study, whether at Lancaster or another top UK university.
“The Lancaster University School of Maths will provide a great opportunity for talented young mathematicians from all backgrounds.”
There are currently two Maths Schools in operation that are successfully supported by universities – the Exeter Maths School, supported by the University of Exeter, and King’s Maths School, supported by King’s College London.
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