• Shanghai math is considered the best in the world.

Shanghai math is considered the best in the world. (Photo : Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Collins Learning and Shanghai Century Publishing Group have signed an agreement to publish and distribute English versions of Shanghai math books to U.K. schools. The deal was made at the London Book Fair.

Collins Learning is a part of the publishing giant, Harper Collins. According to plan, Collins will be printing a series of 36 textbooks. The series is named Real Shanghai Mathematics.

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Collins Learning's managing director Colin Hughes sees the signing of the deal "a historic moment."

"To my knowledge, this has never happened in history before--that textbooks created for students in China will be translated exactly as they have been developed, and sold for use in British schools," said Hughes.

"This development arises from increasingly successful collaboration between Shanghai and the British government, aimed at raising standards of mathematics education in U.K. schools by adopting the excellent approach that places Shanghai as a world leader in mathematics teaching," he added.

Over 400 teachers, leaders and researchers from China and Britain have participated in academic exchange visits since 2014. Schools that sent representatives have profited from the exchanges.

Students from Shanghai have consistently performed well in the Program for International Student Assessment. In the program, 15-year-old students are given an exam to assess education systems worldwide. The assessment happens every three years.

The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics has already used Shanghai math books in training British educators.

Last year, the Teaching for Mastery Program was announced by the U.K. Education Department. The program aims to help educators acquire techniques used in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong for use in 8,000 U.K. primary schools. It has a 41 million pound ($50.3 million) funding and will last for four years.

Collins Learning sees the program as an opportunity to promote its new textbook series.

According to Hughes, the Real Shanghai Mathematics is an intensive program that "emphasizes complete mastery of basic numeracy knowledge and skills to allow vastly accelerated progression to advanced numeracy."

Collins Learning hopes to contribute in improving the mathematical skills of British students by bringing Shanghai math books to U.K. schools.