National Network For Excellence in Mathematics

About us

What is the National Network for Excellence in Mathematics (NNEM)?

The aim of the NNEM is to support the development of effective practice in mathematics pedagogy across Wales for improved classroom practice, as part of a self-sustaining, self-improving education system.

It will provide a structured approach for mathematics support for 3 to 18-year-olds through a pan-Wales virtual collaboration of identified schools, higher education institutions and regional consortia. NNEM partners will work together to improve the learning and teaching of mathematics and numeracy in education settings and colleges across Wales, primarily through supporting practitioners to develop enhanced classroom practice. This national approach to mathematics is set out in our framework:


Laura Morris (Chair)

Laura has worked with Central South Consortium for four years. She currently holds the post of Senior Strategic Lead and leads the work with advisers and schools to facilitate professional learning across the region. Laura is currently undertaking a PhD in education and is researching self improving systems. Prior to this, Laura worked as a strategic adviser for mathematics and led the region’s approach to collaborating with schools to develop the leadership and teaching of mathematics. Laura has been actively engaged with the development of Welsh policy around mathematics having undertaken the mathematics subject expert role for Welsh Government and participated in a variety of steering and development groups, including the Mathematics Task and Finish Group. Starting as a teacher of secondary mathematics, Laura held a range of posts in school settings for over ten years.

Chris Hughes

Chris has been an academic in mathematics since finishing his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in mathematics at The University of Reading. He taught mathematics at a Community College in Portland, Oregon (USA) for 9 years, and is now a ‘staff tutor’ at The Open University in Wales. He manages tutors, projects, events and contributes academically to the school of mathematics and statistics. He has made contributions to WeBWorK, an open source mathematics homework management system, and has a keen interest in Accessibility of Mathematics.

Delyth Ellis

I graduated from Bangor University in 2002 and have since worked as a teacher, and within leadership roles in mathematics departments in North Wales. I was seconded to work for the consortia from September 2015, and now work for the consortia in North Wales - GWE as a Challenge and Support Advisor for Mathematics and Numeracy in the Secondary sector.

Georgie Bevan

Georgie works for Education Achievement Service for South East Wales (EAS). She has been a leader of numeracy and mathematics for nearly ten years which includes raising standards significantly, in two consecutive schools. The results obtained by her previous school have resulted in national recognition of the mathematics department and other schools approaching them for mathematical support. She was also Head of Numeracy at Ferndale Community School when they obtained record breaking results and accelerated improvement in this subject area.

Georgie also has experience of whole school improvement when she was an Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for whole-school learning and teaching. In this role she supported other departments to raise standards and in turn improve learner outcomes. She has always had a passion for mathematics and science as well as the opportunity to change the lives of young people by engaging them in their learning.

Hâf Williams

Hâf has been a Headteacher at Ysgol Deganwy, Conwy since September 2013. She began her career in Ysgol Croes Atti and during her time at the school, was seconded for two years as a Mathematics Advisory Teacher for the Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2. She then became Deputy Headteacher at Ysgol Glan Conwy and then Ysgol Bod Alaw. Hâf was appointed Headteacher of Ysgol Llangelynnin before being appointed to her present post.

Hâf is passionate about the teaching of mathematics. She firmly believes that mathematics should be taught through fun, challenging and visual tasks that encourage children to think and talk mathematically. She enjoys teaching mathematics through engaging and real-life contexts. This, she feels, deepens the children’s understanding and develops a positive attitude towards the learning of mathematics.

Helen Denny

Helen is the Co-Director of the Secondary PGCE course at University of Wales Trinity Saint David and also the Secondary PGCE Mathematics and Numeracy Lead. An experienced secondary mathematics teacher for ten years, Helen was Head of Mathematics and Head of Year before moving into Initial Teacher Education in 2003. She completed her Masters of Research in Mathematics Education and is now the Internal Examiner for this course.

Helen’s experience includes being a mathematics lead for Teach First Cymru and a Graduate Teacher Programme tutor. She has taught on various courses including the MRes, MA Education, BA Education and Foundation degree courses and is a Senior Fellow of the HEA. Having started her Doctorate in 2015, Helen is currently involved in researching trainee teachers’ perceptions of the nature of numeracy and the extent to which they feel confident to teach higher order numeracy across the secondary school curriculum.

Helen Elis Jones

Helen works as a primary mathematics lecturer at Bangor University. Her main role is leading mathematics on the primary teacher training programmes. After graduating with a first class honours degree from University of Wales Bangor, she worked as a primary teacher in schools on Anglesey before working as a mathematics advisory teacher for the local authority.

Helen has worked on previous PrIME initiatives; consultant to develop Key Stage 1 mathematics task and test materials for SCAA/QCA, and was also a BEAM trialist and consultant. As part of a British Council project she worked to develop and create Mathematics programmes in Mauritius. In an advisory role she’s worked with INCERTS to help develop their assessment and recording systems from a Welsh perspective. She contributes to training courses across North Wales for teachers and assistants, based on current issues in education and mathematics.

Martin Crossley (Dr)

Martin is Deputy Head of the Mathematics Department at Swansea University. He was inspired by superb lecturers at university, and drawn to a life of communicating mathematics while also creating new mathematics. His career as a professional mathematician began in Aberdeen where he completed his PhD in algebraic topology. This was followed by a five year period as a peripatetic mathematics researcher at universities in Barcelona, Paris, Bonn and Norwich.

He has published a textbook on topology, which has become the recommended text at a number of universities worldwide and continues to sell in significant numbers. Since 2012 he’s been in charge of teaching in the Mathematics Department at Swansea University, revising the syllabus to provide the best experience for students. He has been involved in the department’s outreach work, using his knowledge to inform, inspire and enthuse mathematics teachers throughout Wales.

Helen has worked on previous PrIME initiatives; consultant to develop Key Stage 1 mathematics task and test materials for SCAA/QCA, and was also a BEAM trialist and consultant. As part of a British Council project she worked to develop and create Mathematics programmes in Mauritius. In an advisory role she’s worked with INCERTS to help develop their assessment and recording systems from a Welsh perspective. She contributes to training courses across North Wales for teachers and assistants, based on current issues in education and mathematics.

Paul Beck

Paul has been a mathematics teacher at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman since September 2005. Prior to this, Paul gained a mathematics degree followed by a structural engineering PhD at Cardiff University. His time at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman has allowed him to gain experience of teaching mathematics to a range of abilities in Key Stages 3 and 4.

Having spent a great deal of time teaching A level Mathematics and A level Further Mathematics, Paul has a good knowledge and experience of many aspects of the course. Paul has had a variety of roles over the years including Key Stage 5 coordinator and numeracy coordinator. Paul enjoys developing the pure aspects of the subject and applying these skills to real-life scenarios and cites that the development of the next generation of mathematicians is the reason why he loves being a teacher.

Rachel Wallis

Rachel works as a senior lecturer at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Her main role is leading mathematics and numeracy on the primary teacher training programmes. She also works on modules involving research. After studying for a mathematics degree, Rachel became a primary school teacher and taught in primary schools in South East London before moving back to Swansea.

During her 12 years in London, she was a Key Stage 2 manager, a mathematics coordinator and a leading mathematics teacher for the local authority. She began working in teacher education in Swansea whilst completing her Masters in Education. She undertook research into young children’s learning of mathematics and primary trainees’ perceptions of mathematics. She is now undertaking a PhD in young children’s mathematics learning.

Simon Taylor

Simon is an Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for learning and teaching at Cardiff High School. He holds this role for three years having previously been Head of Mathematics. Prior to entering the teaching profession, Simon worked in the finance sector after having started his career as an operational research analyst in the civil service. Simon qualified as a teacher of mathematics via the Graduate Teacher Programme. As a senior leader, one of Simon’s current responsibilities is the application of numeracy, alongside literacy, across the curriculum and he works closely with colleagues, to ensure that successful application of these skills enables pupils to deepen their understanding of subject content across the curriculum.

Sofya Lyakhova

Sofya is the Programme Leader of the Further Mathematics Support Programme Wales. Sofya holds a PhD in pure mathematics from Bristol University and PGCE from Swansea Metropolitan University. Sofya’s early research interests were in the field of partial differential equations. She has led a number of research projects in mathematical education, such as student choice of mathematics post-16, transition from school to university mathematics and blended learning.

She is passionate about more children achieving well in mathematics to allow them to access interesting university courses and well paid jobs. Sofya developed the mathematics outreach programme and is the organiser of the RI Mathematics Master classes in Swansea University. She works with SEREN Hubs on STEP and MAT provision for A-level Mathematics students. Sofya is a Senior HEA Fellow and a member of BSRLM, ATM, MA and MEI.