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A specialist maths school in every major city

Last updated: 04:20pm 13 January 2019

We will introduce new funding arrangements so we can open a specialist maths school in every major city in England.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.50

Our verdict

Specialist maths schools provide free A-level maths tuition to pupils aged 16-19. The schools are supported by universities and are part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which aims to boost “investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future.”

These specialist schools were first announced in 2011 as part of the coalition government’s Autumn Statement, and two universities took up the offer: Exeter and King’s College London. Other institutions were not as keen.

In March 2018 the government renewed this commitment, again encouraging universities to set up free specialist maths schools and pledging £350,000 in additional funding for the project. In July 2018, it was announced that the third specialist maths school in the country would be opening in Liverpool in 2020.

Given the announcement of a third specialist maths school, and the government’s financial commitment, this policy can technically be marked as ‘in progress’. However, only one new specialist maths school is in the pipeline, so there is clearly a lot of work still to do. In order to mark this as ‘done’ we’ll need to be clear on what constitutes a “major city” before confirming there is a specialist maths school in each one. We’ll be asking the government for help with this definition and will update this page when we have news. Follow this policy to stay informed.

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