Mayor cuts ribbon to officially launch new school delivering world-class maths education

LUSoM delivers outstanding Mathematics A-Level education to the most able students from across Lancashire and the North West
LUSoM delivers outstanding Mathematics A-Level education to the most able students from across Lancashire and the North West

A new £8.5 million school delivering world-class mathematics education for 16 to 18 year-olds from across Lancashire has been officially launched with a special commemorative ceremony.

Dignitaries including two MPs from the region joined pupils, school staff and other invited guests to watch as Preston’s Mayor Yakub Patel cut the ribbon to officially launch the Lancaster University School of Mathematics (LUSoM).

The school, which is housed in a brand new bespoke building situated on London Road, close to Preston’s city centre and the main campus of Cardinal Newman College, has been teaching pupils at the site since the start of the year.

Providing a modern and safe, inclusive and inspiring learning environment, and informed by a uniquely broad, rich, challenging and stretching curriculum developed in partnership with academics from Lancaster University, LUSoM delivers outstanding Mathematics A-Level education to the most able students from across Lancashire and the North West.

Attracting students from all backgrounds, LUSoM is helping to raise aspirations throughout Preston and the wider area, unlock potential and propel young people on their journey towards successful careers.

LUSoM is a collaboration between two outstanding education providers, Lancaster University, which is consistently ranked among the best in the UK and top 15 in national league tables, and Cardinal Newman College, one of the highest performing Sixth Form Colleges nationally, based on A-Level progress.

Following the ribbon cutting by the Mayor, invited guests at the event held on Friday, September 22, heard from Professor Wendy Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at Lancaster University and Nick Burnham, Executive Principal of LUSoM and Principal of Cardinal Newman College..

Professor Robinson said: “As Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, I am delighted to see the innovative way the School is strengthening the sixth form educational offering around mathematics across the County, making a very real contribution to our ambitions and aspirations for strengthening the skills pipeline for our future workforce in Lancashire.

“Lancaster University is very pleased to have worked in close partnership with Cardinal Newman College in the development of the School and our specialist academics are proud to have worked collaboratively with staff and students to enhance the curriculum and the broader learning experience.”

Mr Burnham said: “It is a proud moment to be officially opening The Lancaster University School of Mathematics on behalf of Cardinal Newman College and Lancaster University. This school will provide a truly special environment where talented mathematicians can flourish by forming their own community and studying a bespoke mathematical curriculum. The Maths School will build on Cardinal Newman College’s reputation as a centre of excellence for post 16 maths and science and also benefit from the support of a world class HE provider in Lancaster University. Exceptional mathematicians, from all communities across Lancashire will receive outstanding support while studying in an inspiring environment.”

Guests also heard from the school’s Head Teacher, Peter Tiltman.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have such amazing facilities here in Preston, all dedicated to the study of maths and science. We are looking for young people with an aptitude and a passion for maths and science to come and study with us, benefitting from the world-class teaching we offer allied with the support of Cardinal Newman College and the links to Lancaster University. More than just providing the education for our own students though, we are committed to the outreach that we do, working with local secondary and primary schools to identify talent from a young age. We work with students across Lancashire to nurture their potential and develop their interest in mathematics.

“With the growth of local businesses and industries, this area is ripe for developing and fostering STEM graduates of the highest calibre. The graduates of this school will be in high demand with plenty of job opportunities on their doorstep.”

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon – Founder and CEO of Stemettes, an award-winning social enterprise working to inspire and support girls, young women and non-binary people, was also invited to talk at the official launch event.

The launch event was attended by almost a hundred Invited guests including the MPs Cat Smith and Sir Mark Hendrick.

The LUSoM building was designed by Pozzoni Architecture, and Galliford Try were the design and build contractor.

The school brings a unique look to the Preston landscape with the four-storey building’s exterior blending a mixture of brown and black brickwork, glass, a distinctive bronze metal cladding and including a rooftop terraced area for students to relax and study looking out onto the Preston cityscape.

The interior of the school has a three-storey atrium providing open learning for the students and a welcoming environment for all visitors. A specially designed, retractable 400 seat auditorium has been included within the building to host lecture style sessions in addition to other events and masterclasses.

Prospective pupils and parents interested in finding out more about life at LUSoM, including the facilities and curriculum are invited to attend an open day on Saturday 14th October. There will be a Head Teacher’s talk along with opportunities to tour the building and meet the LUSoM Team. People can register their place by completing a form on the school’s website - LUSoM Events - Lancaster University School of Mathematics

More details on the application process, and events and activities, are available on the school’s website .

Other events aimed at interested prospective pupils include:

  • LUSoM Revise – A 10 week revision programme designed for Year 11 pupils aiming for grades 7-9 at GCSE. Starting in on 26 September and meeting each week online from 4-5pm. (Full dates and times are online and available to book).
  • LUSoM Extend – Programme designed for high-ability KS3/KS4 students who have a passion and interest for mathematics and want to go beyond their normal lesson. These events are every half term on campus for 1.5 hours. The date for this half term is 11th October 5-6:30pm. (Full dates and times are online and available to book).

LUSoM is governed by the school’s trust – the Rigby Educational Trust. Strong links to encourage mathematics and knowledge sharing are being forged with Maths Schools across the country, including in Liverpool, Exeter and Kings College London.

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