New specialist maths schools in Exeter and London launch challenging competition for talented students

Posted: 10 September 2013

The University of Exeter in partnership with Exeter College, and King’s College London will be the first institutions to open state-funded specialist mathematics schools for sixth form students in September 2014. The schools are opening in response to the government’s plans to improve mathematics education in the state sector and will cater for students with exceptional ability in and a passion for mathematics.

Year 10 and 11 pupils in the South West of England and London are invited to tackle some famous and challenging mathematical problems as part of a competition run in parallel by the Exeter and King’s College London specialist mathematics schools.

The maths competition is part of the outreach programme of both schools to support and motivate mathematically talented Key Stage 4 pupils across their respective catchment areas. It seeks to encourage them to approach GCSE material in new and challenging ways that will develop their mathematical understanding, regardless of whether they intend to apply to one of the schools.

Teams of three or four students can choose from a short list of problems and submit their solutions in a five minute video. An award ceremony will be held on 7th November at the Department for Education in London and prizes for the winners in each region will be awarded by the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, said:

“I am delighted that King’s College London and Exeter and are launching this competition in the run-up to the opening of their specialist mathematics schools. It shows how university-sponsored schools can help stimulate mathematics learning and challenge across the secondary school system. I look forward very much to seeing the winning entries, and meeting their creators, but am also confident that everyone who participates will both enjoy and learn from the experience.”

Head teacher of the Exeter Mathematics School, Kerry Burnham said:

“So much of mathematics is about communication and it is also an incredibly creative subject. This competition presents young mathematicians with the opportunity to express their creativity whilst simultaneously developing their communication skills.”

Head teacher of the King’s College London Mathematics School, Dan Abramson said:

“This competition is a really fun way for aspiring young mathematicians to compete against other schools and demonstrate their passion for mathematics in an innovative and engaging fashion.”

Schools may enter more than one team to the competition and are asked to register their interest with Exeter ( or King’s ( by the end of September. All videos must be submitted by 23rd October 2013. Students who are interested in taking part in the competition should contact their head of maths.

Further information about the competition can be found by visiting our competition page.

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