Dr Antony Edkins, Regional Lead for the North West
Having left Greater Manchester five years ago, I was apprehensive about returning to the North West. However, I was pleased to find that the region’s maths terrain now boasts an array of ‘Northern Lights’ of effectiveness, potential, promise and hope.
On 9 November 2018, the City of Manchester hosted ‘The Monster Confidence’ conference for female pupils. The event was organised purely for female students to promote their participation in STEM learning and STEM careers. The @STEMettes were buzzing with excitement, enthusiasm and engagement. AMSP was more than well represented by Rachel Beddoes and Catherine van Saarloos, who both captured girls’ interest effortlessly. @STEMettes was also a great place to network, thanks to the proven facilitative efforts of Gaynor Bahan, the North West NCETM lead.
Former colleagues connected me with people in the region who had a genuine interest in AMSP’s work. This included people leading successful Teaching School Alliances, along with those directing the Greater Manchester Learning Partnership and the Greater Manchester Employability and Education Partnership. There were also former work colleagues who were now headteachers in Local Authorities in the North West. They have helped facilitate an AMSP slot at the Headteachers’ meetings during the autumn term.
But the real ‘Northern Lights’ are the North West Area Coordinators. With each of these ACs comes a wealth of talent, experience and subject expertise which schools and colleges can value. Secondary maths teachers and their headteachers tell me that the ACs’ delivery of enrichment events for students and professional development for teachers is well received and has popular appeal. The ACs have provided me with a depth of understanding about the AMSP’s good work, especially with up and coming Core Maths qualifications.