The multi-academy trust behind the popular White Rose Maths Hub has defended its use of public funds – saying it will stop work if the maths community no longer supports it.
The White Rose Maths Hub, based at Trinity Academy, Halifax, was one of 32 maths hubs set up in 2014 by the Department for Education to lead training in maths in their area – with a focus on the Asian-style maths mastery approach.
But it has now been split into two separate organisations – the West Yorkshire Maths Hub and White Rose Maths – following a decision to change the way hubs worked.
Maths hubs are managed by the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), and earlier this year the NCETM told the hubs that they would no longer be able to create and promote resources.
The Trinity MAT has said it wanted to continue producing the next stages of its schemes of work and make them freely available, so approached NCETM and DfE about how it could continue to do this.
At the beginning of this term, the NCETM announced that the White Rose Maths Hub would become the West Yorkshire Maths Hub, and would continue its work supporting local schools in improving the teaching of maths.
The maths teaching materials would now be branded as White Rose Maths materials, it said, to clarify the distinction between the Maths Hub work and the separate development of materials.
But this sparked concern that resources funded by public money could be placed behind a paywall:
Would like a guarantee from the Hub that it will provide access to all those materials previously listed as Hub materials.— Mr Mattock (@MrMattock) September 7, 2017
However, a statement posted on Twitter today by Trinity MAT states: “Nothing will change about what we create and offer going forward. The new schemes have not been financed by any Maths Hub funding and we cannot use future Maths Hubs funds to produce any new materials of training.”
It acknowledged there had been queries around the status of White Rose Maths as a company, and said the company was owned in full by Trinity MAT and was not an external or private commercial company. Income will be reinvested in developing further schemes and materials, it said.
“We are just a small group of professionals who, like many others, passionately want to help improve maths education in England, and many tell us that we were helping to achieve this. If there is an overwhelming consensus for us to stop doing what we are doing, then we will respect that,” the statement continues.
“We loved being White Rose Maths Hub and wanted to continue doing all our work under that name, but this did not fit in with the aims of the national Maths Hub initiative going forward.”
The statement ends saying that it believes that White Rose Maths is the best way to meet requests for its materials and training.