Free school set to find future mathematicians
A new Free School backed by the Government has promised to become a regional centre of excellence.
The specialist maths school based in Exeter will recruit 120 pupils from across the South West preparing them for rigorous degrees.
A fifth of the 16- to 19-year-old mathematicians will be allowed to board during the week at the University of Exeter, which is running the school with Exeter College.
The school, approved by the Education Secretary, has been awarded a development grant. It is scheduled to open in September 2014, subject to receiving funding agreement.
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It is the second planned specialist maths-free school in the country, following a proposal announced last month for King's College London to open one in London.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "If we want our mathematicians to prosper, we must encourage innovative approaches to maths teaching and create an environment that allows them to flourish."
The Russell Group university will provide students with at least 13 hours of maths, physics and computer science teaching a week.
The award-winning college will provide students with access to a wider curriculum, extra-curricular activities and pastoral support.
Janice Kay, deputy vice-chancellor of Exeter University, said: "This partnership will bring together two institutions which have both won prestigious national accolades this year, to create a hub of educational excellence in the South West."
The ultimate aim is to create a network of schools across the country to identify and nurture mathematical and scientific talent. Students will take maths A level and the STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) advanced maths exam – a requirement for some leading university maths departments.