Qualifications, assessment and accountability
What has changed?
The Government has made significant reforms to assessment
and accountability for
16-19 learners and to mathematics qualifications.
If you would like to know more about ACME's advice on pre-
and post-16 qualifications and assessment, you can find a
summary on the page 'Mathematics to 18 for all'.
Further information on GCSE Mathematics, AS/A level
Mathematics and Further Mathematics, Core Maths and
level 2 qualifications.
ACME's most recent report
Problem solving in mathematics: realising the vision through better
assessment was published in June 2016.
In the report, ACME:
- considers the assessment of problem solving in public
tests and examinations across all key stages of mathematical
- describes the desirable characteristics of questions
used to assess problem solving;
- sets out actions for policymakers, awarding
organisations and the mathematics community to ensure that
improvements in the quantity and quality of problem solving in
mathematics tests and assessments are realised over
accountability: The very welcome emphasis on reasoning
and problem solving in the aims of the National
Curriculum needs to be strongly reflected in the material
developed for teaching and assessing primary children.
Improved models of assessment are urgently needed to avoid
'teaching to the test' and to ensure that tests measure maths
thinking and understanding. These models should be developed and
evaluated carefully by experts involved in developing a holistic
maths curriculum across all phases of education.
High-stakes assessment, performance measures and the target
culture can get in the way of developing mathematics skills and
Qualifications should encourage students to gain confidence and
develop a positive attitude towards mathematics.
A clear and coherent suite of mathematics qualifications is
needed to meet the needs and aspirations of all post-16
A multi stakeholder response is needed to signal the importance
of the full range of mathematics qualifications.
Curriculum and qualification
reform: Curriculum and
qualification reform, including of assessment, should be undertaken
by a known transparent body of experts that has access to a full
range of relevant evidence and expertise.