Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)

A level Mathematics

ACME response to the Department for Education consultation on reformed GCSE and A level subject content consultation.

ACME response to Ofqual consultation 'Developing new GCSE, A level and AS qualifications for first teaching in 2016'.

What is the issue?

Mathematics A level entries in England have risen since 2002 from 44,000 to over 80,000 in 2013. Further Maths has almost doubled in the last few years to nearly 13,000 in 2013.

However, participation rates in A level Maths in England remain low relative to other developed countries, with only circa 20% of students taking maths post-16.

A level reform

A decision was made by Professor Mark Smith that the reform of A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics should be delayed to 2016.

The A level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB) was asked by the Department for Education to develop content for the new A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics qualifications. See here for the ALCAB report from the mathematics and further mathematics panel.

On 1 December 2014 Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Reform,  wrote to Ofqual to accept the recommendation to defer first teaching of the new mathematics and further mathematics A/AS levels until September 2017.

Professor Stephen Sparks, Chair of ACME said:

'I welcome that the new mathematics A levels will now be introduced in autumn 2017. This decision follows the advice given by ACME and the mathematics community that a delay was needed to help safeguard the increasing numbers of students taking mathematics at A level. The delay allows more time for considered preparation for teaching, learning and assessment. The extra year also means that those taking the new A levels will now have taken the reformed GCSE Mathematics, helping to ensure a coherent learning pathway for students.'

The A Level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB) issued a  press notice welcoming the delay in introduction of the new mathematics and further mathematics A levels.

A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics will now be introduced for first teaching in September 2017. Ofqual announced that it will convene an A level Mathematics Working Group.

ACME and A level reform

ACME has engaged deeply with the A level reform process. As well as publishing a range of publications and correspondence, see here if you are interested in more detail, ACME has also been involved in information sharing activities with a range of organisations and individuals from the mathematics education community.

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