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Uptake of further maths increases in Wales

30/09/2014 Joanna
More pupils in Wales are studying further mathematics and have achieved an A-level in the subject since the launch of a pilot programme in the subject in 2010.

The Evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme in Wales (FMSP) also reveals there has been a stronger increase in entries from males rather than females and a rise in the number of schools offering further mathematics in the pilot area.

Led by the Wales Institute of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, based at Swansea University, the FMSP is a government-funded scheme that has been trialling a number of approaches designed to boost uptake of further mathematics.

These include allowing those in teaching jobs free access to FMSP resources, face-to-face and online tuition, and revision sessions.

Education secretary Huw Lewis said: "The findings of this evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme are really encouraging. A good knowledge of maths is a key skill for life and highly valued by employers. That's why we invested in the pilot support programme.

"We'll study the report in depth and consider its recommendations closely to help us build on the impressive success that this programme has delivered to date."

Further mathematics is an A-level course aimed at students planning to study maths-related degrees at university.

An AS or A-level qualification in the subject is recognised as ensuring youngsters are better prepared to study mathematics in their first year at university and can open doors to careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.

A number of recommendations have also been made by the Evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme.

These include engaging regional consortia in promoting Further Maths, continuing the full breadth of support provided by the pilot targeting female students and enhancing support materials for both students and teachers.

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