News story

Skills boost for the North as maths school to open in Liverpool

Talented young people in the North West are set to benefit from world-leading maths education with a brand new specialist school backed by a top university.


The University of Liverpool Mathematics College is set to become the first of its kind in the north of England and will follow in the footsteps of successful schools opened by King’s College London and the University of Exeter.

When the school opens, it will welcome 80 talented A level pupils per year to study subjects like maths, further maths and physics.

Minister for the School System, Lord Agnew said:

I am pleased that the University of Liverpool has risen to the challenge to give the mathematicians of tomorrow an opportunity to take their talents to the next level. I visited King’s College London Mathematics School earlier this year and was humbled by the students I met there – their ambition and ability is incredible.

Academic standards are rising, with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. As we move forward, we want more leading universities to open maths schools and offer broader outreach in their region. This will give even more young people the opportunity to excel in maths, providing them with the knowledge and skills for future success.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said:

Maths powers our economy. Studying it to A level and beyond could add around 10% to the future earnings of students, putting more money in their pocket and giving them more job opportunities.

Today we are hosting northern universities in Parliament because we know fewer students in the North of England study maths compared with the South, and we want to change this.

That is why we introduced the maths pupil premium, to help more students study maths for longer and put them in a great position to take up skilled jobs.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool said:

The University of Liverpool Mathematics College will be a hub for the most able young mathematicians in the Liverpool city region so they can develop their knowledge and skills through the study of maths and related subjects. In today’s global economy it is essential that the UK develops the potential of our most able maths students and this initiative will help respond to that challenge.

Once open in 2020, it will give gifted mathematicians from all backgrounds the chance to boost their skills and learn from some of the best minds in the country.

In partnership with local schools, the college will work to raise aspirations and attainment levels in mathematics across the region and, alongside other schools, colleges and organisations, will provide professional development programmes for maths teachers throughout the region.

The University will also work with employers in the region to establish partnerships, giving pupils the chance to gain real business experience and the opportunity to see how their skills will support their career choices moving forward

Maths is one of the most in-demand skills in the labour market and the Royal Society has outlined maths as the key skill required by employers by 2030. It is also already the most popular subject at A level, with over 84,000 pupils choosing to study it. This is an increase of 20% since 2010. The government is determined, through its modern Industrial Strategy, to increase the number of young people studying maths, helping them to secure good jobs and boosting the UK economy.

The University of Liverpool Mathematics College also supports the aims of the Northern Powerhouse, which will create a globally-competitive northern economy with a flourishing private sector, a highly-skilled population, and world-renowned civic and business leadership, all of which will be supported by a boost to maths skills.

The most selective maths universities in the country are being encouraged to consider opening a maths school. It will give pupils access to a stretching maths curriculum as well as excellent mentoring and careers guidance by specialists at the university. Maths schools will receive an additional £350,000 to support significant outreach work with a focus on students from disadvantaged backgrounds and girls. This will ensure that pupils from all backgrounds will have the opportunity to link up with some of the best maths institutions in the country.

Published 4 July 2018