About me

I trained as a teacher in 2009 and have been fortunate to work across a number of schools and multi-academy trusts in various positions including Lead Practitioner, Assistant Head in two schools and also a Maths lead across a trust. I even worked as a motivational speaker in schools, delivering seminars to inspire pupils to have ”the edge” and to help them improve areas as focus and revision skills.

In order to challenge my own knowledge and research capabilities, I undertook a Master’s degree in School Improvement and Educational Leadership from the University of Birmingham, gaining a distinction. I particularly enjoyed working and researching my dissertation in multi-academy trust leadership of maths, a focus area I find of particular interest; I definitely believe that collaboration is key!

I now work as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) at the Arthur Terry National Teaching School, training the new generation of teachers into our profession. In addition, I work with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) though their local Maths Hubs (especially the Central Maths Hub who have really helped me grow) as a Professional Development Lead and a work group lead. I am also one of their “Teaching for Mastery” specialists (although I do enjoy a good debate about what “mastery” is – have a read of the NAMA paper which covers this nicely).

I am asked to support and develop mathematics departments across the West Midlands. I always believe I could watch just five minutes of a lesson and discuss it for an hour – there is so much going on in a classroom which makes the job so exciting!

Mathematics pedagogy is really exciting at the moment as there is so much research and international practice to learn from and debate. I draw from this regularly to challenge all teachers to discover what they think is the best way forward. Education is a social science, so there is not always a “best” way for all schools to use, but each teacher must find their own, most-effective methods, whilst also be willing to learn from other ideas and implement them.

Tom Manners

I want to develop a willingness to learn new ideas within all levels of staff – just because you did well in school using a certain strategy doesn’t mean that would work for everyone! There are fabulous ideas like bar modelling, which explains the structure of mathematics to children, and variation, which helps to carefully consider how we demonstrate ideas, that challenge how we think as teachers to ensure we are more effective.

I hope that you pick up my enthusiasm and positive demeanour throughout this whole website, and if I can help you and your school in any way, that you will consider getting in touch to chat.

Tom Manners

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