A NORTH-EAST school has been named as one of 32 elite maths hubs as part of an £11m scheme to improve the country’s standards.

Carmel College, in Darlington, is part of a national network schools that will seek to match the high standards achieved in top-performing Asian countries, like Japan, Singapore and China, in which youngsters are often around two years ahead of English children by the age of 15.

These hubs, which also include Harrogate Grammar School and the North Tyneside Learning Trust, in Newcastle, will act as pacemakers, providing a model for other schools in the area.

Maura Regan, principal of Carmel College said: “We are thrilled, and being selected is prestigious for the whole of the North-East.

“Maths is absolutely crucial to our present generation who must be skilled in every aspect of the subject to equip them for life.

“The Government is right to develop such skills for the future and the way to do this is to embed mathematics from a very early age so young people can develop fully both skills and application.”

The hubs will adopt an "Asian-style mastery approach to maths" and will develop a programme with academics from Shanghai Normal University and the UK’s National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths.

Later this year, 50 teachers from Shanghai will be brought into the hubs to teach pupils and run masterclasses for other teachers.

The scheme will also see daily maths lessons introduced, with lesson plans available online, and will aim to have specialist subject teaching in primary schools, rather than a designated class teacher.

The scheme will be launched today (Tuesday, July 1) by Education Minister Elizabeth Truss, who said: “There is no reason why children in England cannot achieve the same standards in maths as those in Japan, Singapore and China.

“We put in more resources in England than in these countries and we have the best generation of teachers ever. Yet our children are two to three years behind by the age of 15.

"We must learn from the systematic practice of these high achieving countries, who are constantly seeking to improve.

“Maths is the most important subject for a child’s future - it commands the highest earnings, provides the best protection against unemployment and will get you everywhere, opening doors to dozens of careers."

The hubs will also be supporting the Your Life campaign, which aims to increase the number of students taking maths and physics at A-Level by 50 per cent over the next three years.