Thanks to a generous donation from Dr Tony Hill, the LMS has started work on a new venture to support the provision of online tutoring for A-level Mathematics students who come from backgrounds that are under-represented in the mathematics community. The Society has a major interest in fostering the next generation of mathematicians through support for mathematical education and is dedicated to promoting equality of opportunity across all career stages.
The LMS is initially working with Durham University, which is also supporting programmes in chemistry and physics (working with the Institute of Physics) under Levelling Up: Aspire Higher, which is a two year academic and pastoral support programme, targeted at Year 12 pupils who are aiming to study chemistry, mathematics or physics at university. The LMS is currently negotiating with other universities to broaden the reach for mathematics.
During the mathematics pilot the LMS will be working to bring together undergraduate student tutors with A-level mathematics pupils who wish to improve their grades to enable them to study for a STEM degree. Each university will identify nearby schools and colleges with significant percentages of students from under-represented backgrounds.
The LMS has established a team responsible for developing the tutoring programme and the tutorial materials. This will include problem sets and worked solutions, key facts and principles relating to the problem topic, suggested discussion points and extension materials. The aim is to challenge and stretch pupils and to consolidate A-Level content, but also give pupils the confidence to consider applying to study for a STEM degree at university.
Through enhancing the A-level pupils’ engagement with mathematics, the Levelling Up Scheme aims to increase the diversity of students pursuing STEM degrees and, eventually, careers. It is important that everyone who wants to study mathematics is given the opportunity, regardless of gender, ethnicity or economic status, for the continued health of the subject and for the benefit of society as a whole in providing a richer, more diverse mathematical community.