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New government funding announced to bolster UK maths teaching

25/07/2017 Joanna

A £16 million investment has been announced by the government to increase the quality of maths teaching and encourage more students to stick with the subject.

The funding pledge has been announced in response to a government-commissioned review by Professor Sir Adrian Smith about how to improve maths education in England for students aged 16 to 18, and to persuade more students excelling in the subject at GCSE level to pursue it further.

Maths continues to be the most popular subject at A level, with 88,000 entries in 2017, up three per cent on last year. However, almost three-quarters of students attaining an A* to C in GCSE maths at age 16 choose not to continue studying the subject.

To address this, the report highlighted a number of challenges that need to be addressed in order to drive up participation, including tackling negative perceptions of maths among many younger students.

Proposed solutions include the introduction of a more rigorous maths curriculum, new AS and A level maths qualifications, and high-quality core maths qualifications, all of which will help to demonstrate to young people that maths courses will give them the skills they need to secure jobs, apprenticeships or higher learning opportunities once they leave education.

Additionally, the government will work with the Institute for Apprenticeships and the Royal Society Advisory Committee on maths education to ensure the design of the new T level technical qualification system is based on expert mathematical advice, while allying with
the Royal Society and British Academy to promote the value of maths qualifications.

Minister for schools standards Nick Gibb said: "A high-quality mathematics education provides young people with the knowledge and skills to secure a good job and to succeed in whatever path they choose."

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