22 October 2019

Easter Awesomeness for Maths Teachers

A couple of years ago I went to BCME for the first time. I loved it! Having been a regular Saturday-maths-conference-goer for a few years, it was my first big residential maths conference. It was a totally different experience to one day events. I enjoyed the social stuff (we won the quiz! I may have mentioned that a few times...) and I also liked the pace. One day conferences can be intense - I feel like I rush around all day - whereas at residential conferences everything has more time. I loved BCME so much that the following year I braved going to the ATM/MA Easter conference on my own. It turned out to be brilliant. It really gave me a lot to think about and probably had a bigger impact on my teaching than any event I'd attended previously.

Quizzing at the ATM/MA conference 2019

I noticed that there were a large number of trainee teachers at the ATM/MA conference this Easter. I was hugely impressed by their enthusiasm. There they all were, embracing their new career and having a thoroughly good time surrounded by mathematics. When I was training I had no idea these things even existed.

For decades the MA and ATM Easter conferences were the biggest events in maths education. Everyone went. Maths teachers flew in from all over the world. These days lots of teachers can't attend the Easter conferences because a) it's too expensive and b) they don't like losing almost a week of their Easter holidays. I have young children myself and totally sympathise with these reservations. Both times I've attended conferences in the Easter holidays I have been lucky enough to be awarded a bursary to help with the cost, plus my husband has taken annual leave to spend time with my daughters.

This year the MA has decided to take an innovative approach to give the conference wider appeal. For as long as anyone can remember the MA Conference has run over four days. This year it's shorter and cheaper and - hopefully - accessible to all. It's also at a beautiful spa hotel (Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire), which is a bonus.

So this is how it looks:

Day 1: Tuesday 14th April
The conference starts at lunchtime on Tuesday. There's a keynote from MA President Ems Lord followed by a linked workshop, and then a practical session run by the Nrich team. At the 2019 conference the Nrich workshop was one of my favourites so this is guaranteed to all be brilliant. In the evening there'll be a quiz (yay!).

Day 2: Wednesday 15th April
This day will be jam-packed with 40 sessions run by amazing speakers, plus a keynote from the one and only Chris Smith (I am so excited about this!).  Workshops will be in four strands (Primary, Secondary, Post-16/Community and General). In each of the five sessions you can choose one of eight workshops - so there's plenty for everyone. The day ends with a Maths Jam and a BBQ.

Day 3: Thursday 16th April

The day starts with a keynote from me, followed by a keynote by Craig Barton. If you were at Craig's keynote at the MEI Conference then I'm sure you'll agree that it will be worth staying for! Then everyone goes home at lunch.

You can download the full programme here.

If you're not a member of the MA then join now (from only £2.50 per month) to save lots of money on conference rates.

To attend the whole conference from Tuesday lunch to Thursday lunch, including hotel room and food, it's only £299. But you have to book by 31st December to get it this cheap. If you've never been to a residential conference before then now's the time to try it!

If you're an NQT or a trainee teacher then you can go to the whole conference from just £229, which is insanely cheap when you consider what it includes in terms of food, accommodation and top quality CPD.

Also, if family commitments mean you can't do a residential so you only want to come to the middle Wednesday (five workshops plus Chris Smith's keynote plus lunch) then it's only £99. That's great value for so much CPD.

Finally - if you're a member of the MA and you've never been to the MA's annual conference before then you can apply for a bursary which will cover the entire cost of the conference! Go on, apply - you might get lucky. Details of this bursary are here.

Get your request into your school now! I look forward to seeing you there.


  1. Sounds great.
    Unfortunately, that's also the first three days of summer term so I'll have to wait another year.

  2. Is there an email that we can contact for more information please?

  3. https://www.m-a.org.uk/conference-2020