The University of Liverpool Maths School (ULMaS) has entered into a formal funding agreement with the Department for Education, meaning that from September 2020 it will become the third specialist Mathematics School to open in the UK.
Maths schools are a flagship programme for the Government and are run by some of the UK’s most selective mathematics universities for 16- to 19-year-olds.
There are currently two other successful schools, King’s College London and the University of Exeter in partnership with Exeter College.
The schools help to prepare students for success in mathematics-related disciplines at top universities, and then to pursue mathematically intensive careers.
Led by headteacher Damian Haigh, the new school will be located in the Alastair Pilkington Building on the university campus.
Due to the pandemic, Damian has recruited and appointed his teaching team entirely through Zoom.
He said: “One of the wonderful things that Maths Schools create is the opportunity to recruit academically talented, inspiring teachers and enable them to teach bright, hardworking students.
“Before we started to recruit teachers we knew that the opportunity to work at ULMaS would be attractive to teachers who love working with able students, but we were also conscious that our subjects are probably the most difficult to recruit for.
“We need not have worried. We had a wealth of very strong applications and the most difficult part was having to turn away talented and committed teachers that we don’t have roles for yet.”
For future students set to start at the school in September, Damian and his team have already provided live online lessons to help over 200 Year 11 students prepare for A-level study.
He said: “It has been an enjoyable learning process for the students and also for the teachers. Getting to grips with live teaching online has filled me with confidence that we can provide highly effective remote learning for students whenever it is needed in future.”
While plans for students and staff to fully return to schools, colleges and universities around the UK are still unclear, Damian has confirmed that ULMaS will open both physically and online to students in September.
He added: “We will need to make some sensible, practical adjustments to how we operate to manage risks: smaller class sizes, reduced mixing of groups. We will need to provide an online learning alternative for students who need to self-isolate for several weeks or have difficulty with transport as a result of the virus situation. However, the good news is that we’re very well placed to do all of these things.”