Training new school maths teachers in Ipswich

Stock: Teacher talking with students

Stock: Teacher talking with students - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new university course is being launched, in Ipswich, which supports people wanting to retrain in order to teach maths in schools.

University of Suffolk main building

University of Suffolk main building - Credit: Archant

There is a desperate shortage of maths teachers in secondary schools across the country while at the same time many senior teachers are heading towards retirement.

One solution could be here, in Suffolk.

The Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in secondary mathematics will be starting in February at the University of Suffolk.

Supported by the National College of Teaching and Leadership the professional development course is to help improve the current shortage of skilled mathematics teachers.

The course gives a thorough grounding in the mathematical knowledge expected in secondary schools at key stages 3 and 4, with a particular emphasis on problem solving.

It will also address how mathematics develops beyond GCSE, in order that teachers can support pupils with progression and respond confidently to the needs of the gifted and talented.

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SKE is aimed at people undertaking a career change to become mathematics teachers, and can be a pre-requisite for graduates embarking on an initial teacher training course in September 2017.

In such cases, a bursary from the NCTL may be available.

Alternatively, current teachers who are already qualified in other areas find the SKE course a valuable professional development opportunity to enable them to include mathematics in the subjects they are able to teach.

David Bowers, lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Suffolk, explains that SKE Maths is now in its third year at the Ipswich campus. “In previous years we have had a fascinating mix of participants - professionals seeking a career change to enter teaching, existing teachers of sport or geography who saw greater prospects in teaching maths, qualified primary teachers seeking to move to secondary level, and even a deputy headteacher who simply wanted to consolidate their maths knowledge to be able to cover maths lessons more confidently. What united them was the eagerness to roll up their sleeves and spend time focusing on the challenge and satisfaction of doing maths!”

The SKE secondary mathematics course takes place on 21 days over a 24 week period, mainly Saturdays to appeal to those already in work.

Applications are now open. For further details, visit or phone the University of Suffolk on 01473 338833.

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