Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)

Mathematics and the curriculum

If you would like a more detailed overview of ACME's engagement and a timeline, please see here.

For a shorter overview, check out the ACME Maths Snapshot on the 'maths curriculum'. All responses can also be found in ACME publications.

What is the issue?

A review of the National Curriculum began in 2010. This resulted in a new National Curriculum being introduced in 2014. There has also been a good deal of reform to other areas, such as early years and pre- and post-16 qualifications.

A summary of the process can be found in a Commons Library Standard Note.


How did ACME engage with the Review?

ACME engaged throughout the reform process by responding to consultations and dealing directly with the Department for Education, both in person and via correspondence.

More information on pre and post-16 qualifications is available here. As well as engaging with the National Curriculum review, ACME has also provided advice on related areas here, such as baseline assessment, performance descriptors at Key Stages 1 and 2 and accountability.


MathsNeedssummaryWhat other work has ACME done on the mathematics curriculum?

In ACME's Mathematical Needs for Learners project completed in 2011, ACME investigated how the individual needs of 5-19 learners in England could best be met by a curriculum. It recommended that relevant policy decisions should be made according to the mathematical needs of learners.

It was also recommended that the curriculum should reflect the interconnected nature of mathematics.

All young people should:

  1. become mathematically fluent
  2. learn to reason and solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts
  3. learn to value mathematics
  4. develop confident, positive attitudes to learning mathematics and utilising mathematics.

ACME is clear that a national curriculum should:

  • be designed, reviewed and refined in a gradual and coordinated way by mathematics education experts
  • support students' ability to reason mathematically and solve problems
  • be assessed in ways that are effective and test all the aims of the curriculum
  • be supported by high-quality professional development and resources to support curriculum planning and classroom teaching.

Related policy areas

ACME has developed or is in the process of developing advice on issues related to the curriculum noted above, such as mathematics education policy, problem solving and reasoning, assessment of mathematics and professional development.

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