Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)

An independent voice on maths education policies

21 March 2002

An independent voice on maths education policies: Teachers have joined forces with university staff to establish for the first time an independent 'single voice' providing advice on policies in mathematics education, it was announced today (21 March 2002).

The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) will seek to ensure that the mathematics community is properly consulted about Government policies, such as the supply of teachers, the school curriculum and assessment methods. ACME will be chaired by Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS, Provost of University College London and former Director General of CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.

Sir Chris said: "Diversity within the UK mathematical community is a positive feature in many ways, but in the past it has had the consequence that the Government has received widely varying, and sometimes contradictory, views during consultations. As a result, the Government has had to make decisions about education policies without a clear steer from the maths community."

He added: "There is now a consensus that the mathematics community must have a single voice on matters of education policy. ACME will consult widely amongst mathematicians at all levels as well as teachers and educationalists. This will allow ACME to speak clearly and authoritatively to Government, encouraging properly focused initiatives and minimising the risk of unforeseen consequences."

ACME will be based at the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, and has been established in partnership with the Joint Mathematical Council, with the support of all major mathematics organisations. It will seek to create more effective communication channels between the mathematics community and the Government and its agencies such as the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

The Government has pledged its support for ACME. Stephen Timms MP, the Minister for School Standards, said: "Effective mathematics education for all is crucial to this country's prosperity and the Government is committed to raising standards in mathematics for all young people. I am delighted that ACME has been established and look forward to working with its members as we tackle the challenges that lie ahead."

For further information contact:
Press and Public Relations
The Royal Society, London
Tel: 020 7451 2516/2508

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