New qualification to boost post-16 maths numbers urged
A new maths qualification is needed to encourage more students to study the subject after 16, a study suggests.
Post-16 maths would be further boosted if the new qualification was required for jobs or degree courses, argue Nuffield Foundation researchers.
The course, for students who do not take A-level maths, should focus on mathematical fluency, says the study.
Author Prof Jeremy Hodgen said universities and employers should be involved in developing it.
A previous Nuffield study found that fewer than one in five pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland studied maths after the age of 16; the lowest level among 24 countries surveyed.
In Scotland almost half (48%) of students took maths after 16 but this was still below the average. The figure for Germany and Hong Kong was over 90% while in the US, New Zealand and Singapore it was over 65%.
England's Education Secretary, Michael Gove has set a target that "within a decade the vast majority of pupils are studying mathematics right through to the age of 18".
Read more ... (BBC News - 15 January)