Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)

Initial teacher education

What has ACME done on initial teacher education (ITE)?


In November 2015 ACME published its report, Beginning teaching: best in class?. In this report, ACME urges for the articulation of a shared standard for the ITE of teachers of mathematics and asks the community to work together on this. Without this shared understanding of what high-quality ITE looks like, ACME argues, the issues of recruitment and retention will not be resolved.

In the report, ACME argues that no matter what route into ITE is followed, more consistency is needed in ITE provision, for example in terms of entry qualifications, the mathematics-specific training required and the critical evaluation skills. ACME also notes the importance given to subject-specific mentoring in other countries and in the linkages developed between ITE and professional development and calls for more consistency across courses on these issues too.

Although the focus of the report is on high-quality ITE, ACME also identifies some challenges that are faced, including the recruitment, retention and professional development of teachers. ACME identifies some of the elements that could form part of a comprehensive plan to secure the future supply and high-quality ITE of teachers of mathematics.



A number of activities were undertaken to inform the report. Further details on the activities and those involved in the report can be found here and in the tables below.

ITE discussion paper

ACME undertook a review of some elements of the ITE system in four jurisdictions (Germany, Massachusetts, Shanghai and Singapore) in addition to England.

The findings of this review are summarised in ACME's discussion paper - Initial teacher education of teachers of mathematics at primary and secondary: have your say.

From the emerging themes of the review ACME formulated a set of questions for the community.  Thank you for sharing your views.

A list of sources may allow you to explore the issues.


As part of its series of Maths Snapshots, ACME developed a Maths Snapshot looking at the the supply, training and development of teachers of mathematics.

Other recent ACME publications on ITE, such as the ACME submissions to the Carter Review can be found here.

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