News and opinion

News article

Creating maths for the majority

12 April 2016

Education Development Trust helping to transform the way that maths is taught in schools and colleges across England.

The Core Maths Support Programme, a Department for Education initiative delivered by Education Development Trust, was launched in 2014 to encourage young people to continue studying maths after 16. The qualification has been created for those who may not wish to take a full A level in the subject, but who do want to be able to apply everyday maths in their further education and/ or future careers, and have achieved a minimum of Grade C at GCSE maths. Core Maths has been specifically designed to deliver maths which relates to everyday situations in work, learning and life, much to the delight of the students currently studying for the qualification.

Around 300 schools and colleges are now teaching Core Maths, with the first exams being taken this summer. Mick Blaylock, Head of the Core Maths Support Programme, says: "The message is clear. We need more young people to stick with maths and to make that happen we need to make maths more interesting and relevant to them".

Employers quite rightly put a premium on the maths skills of their workforce, and have warmly welcomed this new qualification.

Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland said "Whether in retail, healthcare, the service sector, transport or manufacturing, the UK will only secure and strengthen its competitive position in the global economy if it has a future workforce with solid numeracy and financial management skills. The new Core Maths qualification is an excellent way to ensure British employers have a ready pipeline of young talent with the maths skills they need."

To help ensure there is a good supply of maths teachers for future generations, Education Development Trust is also delivering a teacher recruitment drive on behalf of Department for Education.

The Future Teaching Scholars programme, launched in November 2015, is recruiting outstanding mathematicians during their A level years before they go to study a maths related degree at university. Programme Director, Richard Churches, says: “the successful applicants who enter the teaching profession through the Future Teaching Scholars programme will have experienced a highly supportive programme from the moment these outstanding A level students are accepted on to the programme. In addition to a generous grant whilst studying at university, each scholar becomes a member of an exclusive national programme. Over their years of study and teacher training they will be supported in a range of ways through the FTS programme, with national and regional events, school-based activities and in finding their first teaching job. There are also opportunities to be involved in research to improve teaching, enriching their experience and their contribution.

Both maths programmes form a major part of the Government’s plan to increase participation and raise standards in mathematics education.

Recruiting and retaining high quality teachers, especially for maths and physics, is vital to the future success of our country.  A-level students of maths or physics who join the Future Teaching Scholars programme are supported through university with not only a generous grant but with a rich, wrap around support and school-engagement programme during their university years. These high calibre students gain membership of an elite cohort of fellow Future Teaching Scholars.

Richard Churches
Principal Advisor - Research and evidence based practice