Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)

ACME comments on the Maths Task Force report

08 August 2011

Commenting on the maths task force report led by Carol Vorderman, A world-class mathematics education for all our young people, Professor Dame Julia Higgins, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Mathematics (ACME), said:

"We are pleased to see the importance of an excellent mathematical education being highlighted by another major report. Carol's work taps into one of the biggest concerns of not only the mathematics community, but also of higher education and business, that too few people study mathematics up to the age of 18.

In ACME's Mathematical Needs reports we describe the importance of further study of mathematics to the workplace and higher education, and the Vorderman report reaffirms our conclusion that we need a broad set of mathematics qualifications that are designed to meet everyone's needs - A-level mathematics alone can't provide this. We hope that the government will act on this recommendation, as it is a key step to ensuring that future generations are suitably prepared for the challenges of a highly competitive and technologically-dependent world.

At present, some students aren't even studying mathematics up to 16 - early entry to GCSE mathematics is increasing dramatically, and, with league tables in mind, some schools interpret achieving a grade C at the age of 14 as permission to drop the subject and focus their attention elsewhere. The Government needs to act now to clarify this situation, and send the message that mathematics isn't something you can just 'get out of the way' if you want to compete in the modern world."

The CBI, the Royal Society,  MEI and the NCETM have also commented on the report.

You can find the report here.

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