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Phil Moxon, AC for Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland

Many thanks to all the teachers who arranged to bring teams to the North East heats of this year’s Senior Team Maths Challenge (STMC). Across the region 42 schools were represented at the heats at Teesside University, Northumbria University and the Sjovoll Centre in Durham. Although the number of teams was down on previous years, the standard of those entering was up, with higher marks and close results in all the heats.

If you have not entered teams before then the format of the competition consists of three rounds, each with roughly equal scores. A group round where the teams try to answer 10 questions is followed by a crossnumber round, where half the team have the across clues, the other half the down clues, but they are unable to communicate with each other. The final shuttle round sees half the team tackle questions 1 and 3, while others solve 2 and 4, and depends on answers being passed on to answer successive questions. If you have not entered before then we can arrange for some training for your team so they are familiar with this format.

This year’s winning teams were Egglescliffe School in Stockton on Tees, Durham School and Whitley Bay High School, who will all go forward to the final in London in February. It’s a return to winning form for Whitley Bay after many years, and new winners for the other two teams. Durham School’s team won their heat without dropping a mark! We wish them every success in the finals.

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