Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)

Post-16 mathematics pathways

20 September 2016

In the post-16 landscape, there are important changes afoot, for example the Smith Review into the feasibility of compulsory mathematics study and the review of Functional Skills mathematics qualifications.

Smith Review

The Review is led by Professor Sir Adrian Smith and will report to the Treasury and the Department for Education by the end of 2016.

The terms of reference of the Review are available here. The aim of the review is to consider the potential for improving the nature and scale of the study of mathematics from 16 to 18 and ensure that the future workforce has the appropriate mathematical and quantitative skills. You can read ACME's response to the Smith Review on the feasibility of mathematics to 18 here.

Functional Skills mathematics reform

ACME has made a number of contributions to the review of Functional Skills mathematics qualifications here and the National Standards in Numeracy here. Other ACME correspondence related to the Functional Skills mathematics review is available here.

Where are we now?4S8A7272

There is broad agreement about the need for young people in England to continue studying mathematics to at least 18. Achieving universal participation in mathematics to the age of 18 and providing pathways for all post-16 learners is a significant task.

What needs to happen?

1. Establish a clear and coherent suite of maths qualifications to meet the needs and aspirations of all post-16 learners.

2. Encourage universities and employers to signal the importance of the full range of mathematics qualifications.

3. Ensure that the supply of qualified teachers is sufficient for the increase in post-16 mathematical study.


See ACME's Maths Snapshot on Maths for all to 18 and other advice on post-16 mathematics here.

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