Halfway mark for maths policy

Progress is mixed on props in the 2016 national mathematics ten-year plan

The National Committee on Mathematical Sciences wants to know what’s on-track and what could change. There’s a paper on progress towards goals set in 2016 and new issues to address.

So far so good-ish: The committee reports more money for teacher professional development across the country, which is good, except it does not increase the supply of new qualified maths teachers or retrain out of field teachers.

The 2016 call for Y12 intermediate maths as a pre-req for UG degrees in science, engineering and commerce has led to “little change across the sector”.  Encouraging maths study in schools is now emphasised by opinion leaders.

And despite programmes to encourage girls and young women to study maths, evaluating their impact “is difficult.”

But, as recommended, there are new national research centres – (the Uni Melbourne based) MATRIX and (at Uni Sydney) the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute.

What’s next: The committee asks for input on four extra areas; * data science and cyber security * biostats * “gender and representation of minority groups, and * changes in funding of Commonwealth Supported Places.