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The Royal Society Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (RS ACME)

‘A magic circle of circles’ by Benjamin Franklin, from a letter to John Canton, 29 May 1765 (Royal Society MS/597/2/21x)

The Royal Society Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (RS ACME) advises the Society on mathematics education policy.

The Committee oversees the Society’s work including commissioning new evidence, analysing existing evidence and providing authoritative and considered advice on high-level, cross-cutting issues in mathematics education and beyond.

Set up in 2002 by the Royal Society and the Joint Mathematical Council of the UK (JMC), the Committee oversees the delivery of a programme of activities being undertaken by the Society that is aligned with the Society’s education Vision for science, mathematics and computing education.

In 2017 the Committee was reformed to have members who are respected and trusted in their own field, have experience of high-level and strategic thinking and delivery, are well networked and with awareness of the education and wider policy landscape. 

The RS ACME Committee is Chaired by Professor Frank Kelly FRS.


See ACME’s current membership.


The Royal Society convenes a range of events, including meetings, round tables and conferences for the mathematics education community. These are used as a way of stimulating debate, as well as shaping mathematics education policy advice.

Current priority areas include:

  • Signalling - Working with academia and industry to allow young people to see where science and maths can take them.
  • Technical education - Providing advice on the mathematical and computational skills components of new technical education pathways in England.
  • Data skills - Providing insights on the role of school and colleges in meeting the data science skills needs now and in the future.

Policy areas

The Society’s remit covers all aspects of mathematics education policy. This includes, but is not limited to the policy areas noted below.

Placing science and mathematics at the heart of education Quality, coherence and innovation Inspirational science and mathematics teaching Education in changing times
A well-designed curriculum is essential for the long-term development of maths confidence and competence. The current education system prioritises assessment and accountability. This means that assessment will impact on how mathematics is taught in the classroom. There are not enough specialist teachers of maths in primary, secondary and further education. Policy reforms should be carefully coordinated, have adequate time (for planning, piloting and evaluation), and be transparent and overseen by experts.

Our series of briefing papers, Maths Snapshots, set out some of the key issues in mathematics education, identify challenges and opportunities and provide policy advice.


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