Project information

Teaching Advanced Mathematics; supporting teachers

To support mathematics teachers in improving their subject knowledge and teaching skills and so benefiting their students at all levels. The course has operated since 2004; feedback from many participants is that this course kept them in the profession and reinvigorated their professional lives.

June 2011 - August 2012

Charity information: Mathematics in Education and Industry

Mathematics in Education and Industry logo
  • Need


    Too many students are put off mathematics at an early age. Many are taught by teachers who have not had the opportunity to teach at a higher level and consequently their understanding of the subject can be limited. Nationally there is a shortage of teachers who can teach mathematics to A level and it is often schools in the most challenging circumstances that find it difficult to attract qualified staff.


    The course gives teachers access to expert tuition and web resources for two years after course completion. The course addresses particular circumstances of individual participants through school visits by course tutors in which lessons can be team taught. All aspects are flexible with participants encouraged to work at the pace appropriate for them. Students benefit from more highly skilled and enthusiastic teachers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase the number of teachers who can teach A level Mathematics to help meet national needs.


    » Continue to offer the Teaching Advanced Mathematics (TAM) course at two universities, ideally increasing to 10 universities over the coming four years
    » Support teachers who have competed the course with additional professional development as required.
    » Publicise the course, particularly in those areas where the need is greatest.

    Success will be seen by the continued growth in A level numbers nationally, particularly in schools that have previously been unable to offer A level Mathematics.

    Aim 2

    To improve the standard of Mathematics teaching in England


    » Through the TAM course, have an impact on the teaching of mathematics in the schools and colleges of course participants.

    Success will be seen by headteachers allowing more teachers to do the TAM course in response to the benefits they have witnessed. Continued positive feedback from headteachers.

  • Impact


    Course participants will remain in the teaching profession; the mathematics examination results in schools of participating teachers will show an upward trend; 20% of participants will enrol on the course on the recommendation of colleagues who have taken part and with the support of headteachers.


    The course has been running since 2004 and numbers remain healthy. Four universities have been involved, with a changing personnel, and MEI have coordinated the project throughout this time. MEI operates a risk register and the only risk assessed as higher than 'unlikely' is related to lack of funding. MEI and the universities ensure, through internal procedures, that standards remain high.


    Three times per year, on course commencement in June, midway through the course and on completion the following August. Testimonies from participants and their line managers would be included.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £120,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £30,000 Cost for first University Holding eight studty days, understaking school visits, course accreditation
      £30,000 Cost for 2nd University Holding eight studty days, understaking school visits, course accreditation
      £50,000 MEI staff time and admin Coordinating programme; 0.5
      £10,000 travel to schools
  • Background


    In the current year the course has been offered through two universities: Warwick and London South Bank. The particpating teachers come from across England.


    In addition to participants: their schools and all students, present and future.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MEI, a charity and mathematics curriculum development body, has a long history of successful innovation. Most recently it designed and coordinated the national Further Mathematics Support Programme with government funding. The TAM course has proved to be very successful, as evidenced through the external evaluation by CEM at Durham University, and it is the only course of its kind in the country.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Bernard Murphy, MEI

    Bernard is the MEI Progamme Leader for Professional Development. He designed the TAM course in 2003/04 and has been the co-ordiantor since then.

    Sue Johnston-Wilder, University Of Warwick

    Sue is the Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Warwick University and works with Bernard on the TAM course there.

    Steve Lerman, London South Bank University

    Steve is Professor in Mathematics Education at LSBU and works with Bernard on the TAM course there.