JMC Logo Joint Mathematical Council of the United Kingdom


 Minutes of JMC Council Meeting

14th November 2003



Professor Bernard Silverman      Chair
Dr Sue Sanders                            Honorary Secretary
Professor Adrian Oldknow           Honorary Treasurer


Dr Dave Miller                               Association of Mathematics Education Teachers
Peter Lacey                                   Association of Teachers of Mathematics
Dr June Barrow- Green                British Society for the History of Mathematics
Dr David Stirling                           Conference of Heads of Departments of Mathematical
Dr. Colin Campbell                       Edinburgh Mathematical Society
Lucy Allen                                       Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
Professor Peter Saunders           London Mathematical Society
Barry Lewis                                    Mathematical Association
Dr David Martin                             National Association for Numeracy and Mathematics in
Gerald Goodall                              Royal Statistical Society

Co-opted Members

Professor Derek Woodrow     
Professor Celia Hoyles            Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education


Nigel Thomas                            Royal Society
Roger Porkess                          Mathematics in Education and Industry
Alice Onion                               Qualifications and Assessment Authority
Graham Smart                          Strategies
Nick Von Behr                           Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education
Lynn Churchman                      Office of Standards in Education
Joe Kyle                                    Learning and Teaching Support Network



Apologies were received from:

Gillian Thumpston                     National Association of Mathematics Advisers Inspectors and Consultants
Bill Richardson                         Mathematical Association
Professor Margaret Brown         A co-opted member
Tony Holloway                          Awdurdod Cymwysterau, Cwricwlwm ac Asesu Cymru (The Qualifications,
                                               Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales)


A special vote of thanks was made to the immediate past Chair Professor Celia Hoyles for her ‘fantastic’ work.

The Chair drew attention the major contribution made to JMC and to the setting up of ACME by Professor Chris Robson (Chair 1995-1999).

Thanks for their work on JMC were also expressed to Dr Pat Perks, Association of Mathematics Education Teachers and Graham Griffiths, National Association for Numeracy and Mathematics in Colleges.  Thanks were also expressed to Alan Wigley (Strategies) and Angela Walsh (Teacher Training Agency).

New Members

The Chair extended a welcome to the following new members and observers:

Dr David Miller                        Association of Mathematics Education Teachers
Dr David Martin                       National Association for Numeracy and Mathematics in
Alf Brown                               Teacher Training Agency
Graham Smart                        Strategies

and to Barry Lewis acting as an alternate for Bill Richardson, Mathematical Association.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and accepted.

3. Matters Arising


 4. Reports from Officers


 5. Report from ACME

 (i)        Membership

Karen Spencer, Head of Department, Kingston FE College has been nominated as the FE/employer/vocational education member. A further person has been nominated to replace Annie Gammon as the Secondary Educational member.  These will go forward to the Royal Society for approval. The JMC Executive has endorsed this nomination, with Bernard Silverman to take Chair’s action at the appropriate time.

 (ii)       Working methods

These were accepted subject to two amendments. The second sentence in paragraph 4, page 2 will be revised to read “seek endorsement from the Executive Committee”.

 (iii)      Evaluation

A process of evaluation has been started and is being undertaken by Dick Evans, an Educational Consultant.  He will be contacting stakeholders as part of the evaluation.  A report will be available in the Spring 2004.

Societies were requested to place a link on their websites to the ACME website to complement the ACME links to JMC Societies.

 (iv)       Future Plans

The next project is on Assessment.  The same procedures will be used as were employed for the CPD project.  Would Council please consider how JMC societies  might contribute?

 (v)        Current Work

A paper was tabled based on a report to Gatsby.

The Chair recorded continued gratitude to ACME for all it is doing for mathematics education and to The Royal Society for its continuing support in this area.

 6. Reports from Members

 Papers had been previously circulated and no comments or questions arose.

 7. Standing Committees

 (i)        BCME V1 Organising Committee

A paper had been previously circulated.  Once again JMC societies were reminded to nominate a contact for The Organising Committee. CH advised, as a point of information, that for BCME-5 the key note speakers’ expenses had been met by the Royal Society and the LMS.

With regard to the draft advertisement , The Chair  commented that there was more than professional development on offer.  The ATM representative advised that this enabled teachers to tap in to funding sources.  ATM had previously prepared a form of words which allowed individuals to apply for funds and tax relief.  ATM would make this available to the organising committee.     

Ideas for themes are under discussion. Ideas are welcomed.                                                                 ALL

 (ii)          ICME

A proposal was put forward for the UK to host ICME 12 in 2012.  JMC supports the bid in principle, significant funding will be needed for the conference, including pump prime funding.

It was agreed to proceed along the lines suggested by the paper. Two planning directors would need to  be identified and a working group  convened.  A draft budget should be prepared for the next Council meeting in February.                                                                                                                                         DW

 Funding for the ICME 10 2004 July 4th –11th.

One sponsorship cheque has been received for £3000.

Announcement of sponsorship to be sent to societies for publication to members.

8. Higher Education

Admissions; Admission in Mathematics seem to be holding up at the expense of Computer Studies. Although admissions to Mathematics are holding up, those to Computer Science have fallen, so numerate disciplines are down overall. This could have a negative effect on teacher supply.

Funding: The Higher Education Funding Council for England was planning to reduce funding to most science and engineering subjects, including mathematics. Concerns were expressed that this could  cause problems for mathematics departments and lead to  the threat of closure once again.

Framework for Qualifications: This was being interpreted by some universities to mean that students must pass every module separately to obtain a degree. There were also problems where an MSc degree was held to contain marginally too much undergraduate material because of what are effectively rounding errors.

Bologna Declaration: UK universities had so far been little affected by this because our first degree is already short by European standards, but there were likely to be problems with the MSc because it is typically awarded after only one year.

The Schwarz Working Group on Admissions: Some of the suggested measures might cause problems for mathematics departments, chiefly because of the importance of previous knowledge. There is considerable pressure for post-A-level admissions.

International Review of Mathematical Research in UK:- Chair is on the Panel and will provide feedback when  appropriate.. The funding of research in mathematics in the UK remains / is / could become a major issue.

9.   Teacher Education

A paper was tabled. (Available as an  attachment on request)

5.   A letter from the Chair of JMC to the Secretary of State to be drafted to lobby for bursaries for the 1st year of 2 year conversion courses.  This should take in to account the previous letter sent by CH, as chair of JMC, to Ralph Tabberer 18 months ago.                                                                                                   D Miller

6.  The age limit for GTP is reduced from 25 to 21.

8.   Lynn Churchman reported that the evidence on GTP was not available yet. Alf Brown reported that the collection of data on starting and attribution rates had begun. Alf Brown referred to data incorporating the employment based routes for the first time and agreed to make this table available to JMC for circulation                                                                                                                                  AB

The issue of attrition and retention rates for GTP compared with  traditional  routes was raised. AMET agreed to collect data.                                                                                                                              D. Miller

 AB reported that the TTA were considering developing a route in to mathematics teaching for people who had studied A-level mathematics in the 1970s and 1980s.

10.   Update on current developments

Papers had been previously circulated.

No questions or comments were raised.

11.   Website

 The Chair requested that any comments regarding the web-site be sent to Bill Richardson.

12.    Future Meetings

Monday, February 9th 2004 at 11.30 am with meeting to end about 1500.  The discussion item will be on the Post-14 Inquiry and it is hoped that the two new members of ACME will act as facilitators                 CH/NVB

June and November meeting dates will be circulated by email as soon as possible.

13.    Any Other Business

Future discussion item:  If the Post 14 Inquiry has been  delayed the  International Review of Mathematical Research will be discussed.

Meeting closed 13.20.