The SMC conference is a major event in the school year, attracting many teachers with between 20 and 30 workshops on offer. It also serves as a social gathering at which teachers can meet and network with colleagues from other parts of the country.

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We were delighted to welcome James Grime ( as the plenary speaker of this year's SMC conference, James Grimewhich was held at the University of Stirling on Saturday 18th May.

We announced the recipient of the SMC Achievement Award 2024 winner, Chris Pritchard! There were also stalls from your favourite publishers, and a host of exciting workshops from the mathematical community.

The list of workshops can be seen at and slides from several presentations available below.

Chris, with Bill Richardson MBE and Adam McBride OBE.

2023 Conference

Almost 200 educators from the length of breadth of Scotland and Scottish Education (and, in some cases, much further afield) were present at the Scottish Mathematical Council conference at the University of Stirling on 20th May.

First order of business for the day was the announcement that Allan Duncan was the recipient of the 2023 SMC Achievement Award (see photo opposite of Allan Duncan (holding his award) and SMC Chair Alan Walker).

The keynote presentation was delivered by Ayliean MacDonald (see below). Ayliean is a former Scottish secondary mathematics teacher who has recently taken up a post as a Community Mathematician in Leeds. Her presentation, "How Maths Teachers Saved My Life", served as a thank you to all mathematics teachers, and a session full to the brim of ideas, activities, and deep personal reflection on the wonders (and pitfalls) of teaching mathematics.

A photo of Ayliean MacDonald.The mathematics community offered 33 workshops in a jam-packed event, and it was excellent to see such a varied offering, fit for primary teachers, secondary teachers, ITE educators and university and college lecturers.

Thanks go to all our presenters, and to the many exhibitors who came to show off the current offerings in terms of technology, pedagogy, and textbooks available to educators today.

Achievement Award

The SMC Achievement Award is presented each year at the SMC Conference. Nominations are welcome at any time.

Nominees should have been involved in mathematics education in Scotland for a significant amount of time and have made a major contribution to the learning and teaching of the subject at primary, secondary or tertiary level either through working directly with pupils or students or by holding a position of influence within a school, college, university, institute of teacher education, local authority, Education Scotland or the Inspectorate.

Previous winners

Chris Pritchard (2024)

Chris has been changing the face of mathematics in Scotland (and beyond) since 1983. Originally from Wales, Chris came to Scotland via a six-year stint in London to accept the post of Principal Teacher of Mathematics at Daliburgh School on the Isle of South Uist. Challenging enough was the adaptation from an inner-city school to…

Allan Duncan (2023)

Upon completing his mathematics degree at Edinburgh University, and his teaching qualification the year after, Allan taught for a short period at Dollar Academy. He then moved to a high school near Lake Victoria in Kenya but three years later he returned to Scotland and quickly moved up the departmental ladder to become PT at…

Sheona Goodall (2022)

The Scottish Mathematical Council Achievement Award was conceived in 2016. It is presented to someone who has been involved in mathematics education in Scotland for a significant length of time, and who has made a major contribution to the learning and teaching of mathematics in that time. The 2022 recipient is Sheona Goodall. Sheona taught…

George Gibson (2021)

George Gibson has been presented with the Scottish Mathematical Council Achievement Award for 2021. Normally the presentation of the glass plaque would have taken place after the opening address at the Annual Conference in Stirling University but with Covid restrictions in place, the conference was held online. SMC Chair, Carol Lyon, described George as a…

Mark Higgins (2020)

Now in its fifth year, the SMC Achievement Award is presented to someone who has made a special and sustained contribution to mathematics education in Scotland. The previous recipients were Adam McBride, Clive Chambers, Maureen McKenna and Brenda Harden. To these names we must now add that of Mark Higgins. Mark rather stumbled into teaching…

Bill Richardson (2020 – Special Recognition Award)

At the SMC Conference in March, Bill Richardson was presented with an engraved glass plaque to mark his 20 years in the role of National Organizer of the Mathematical Challenge, the ever-popular, problem-solving competition that is one of the cornerstones of the SMC’s activities. Upon graduating from the University of Manchester, Bill began his teaching…

Brenda Harden (2019)

Brenda’s career began in Ellon Academy in 1978; she moved to Mackie Academy as APT in 1990, then to Turriff Academy as PT in 2005 and to Northfield Academy as Faculty Head in 2010. She finished up with a brief spell as one of the Depute Heads of Torry Academy, though she is still doing…

Maureen McKenna (2018)

Maureen taught mathematics in three Grampian schools in the early part of her career, moving on to Kilsyth Academy to become Principal Teacher and then Assistant Head Teacher. In 2000, she joined the inspectorate, where she went on to become District Inspector for Glasgow and North Ayrshire, and perhaps more importantly, the national specialist for…

Clive Chambers (2017)

Clive studied mathematics in Dundee, graduated from the University of St Andrews and in 1966 started teaching in Linlathen High School. He stayed at that school for almost a quarter of a century, most of that time as Principal Teacher. Then in 1989 Clive joined Tayside’s Education Development Service and within a couple of years…

Adam McBride (2016)

As an academic mathematician at Strathclyde University, Adam has influenced hundreds if not thousands of young mathematicians. His high standing with his peers has led to his being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and also as President of Scotland’s premier forum for mathematicians, the Edinburgh Mathematical Society. But it is for…

Previous conference presentations

2015 Conference Presentations

2014 Conference Presentations