Morning, Monday, 22nd June 2020
THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED
***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine the next steps for the reform of maths teaching and qualifications in England.
It comes at a time of considerable uncertainty following the cancellation of GCSEs and A Levels this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, and the replacement of the exams with teacher assessments, as well as the transition to remote learning.
Delegates will look at the future of GCSE and A Level maths qualifications following the pandemic and how to support students taking GCSEs and A Levels this year - as well as those who are due to sit exams in 2021.
Key areas for discussion:
Adjusting to the reformed GCSEs and A Levels
- The impact of GCSE and A Level reform on the maths curriculum and teaching staff.
- Whether the new qualifications are meeting the government aim of being more rigorous and better preparing students for A Level and higher education.
- Potentially increased teaching time needed for GCSE maths to sufficiently prepare students for exams, and its impact on the wider school curriculum and on preparation for the reformed A Level.
- The experience of the new A Level, with the majority of students having sat exams in the reformed qualification for the first time last summer.
- Grade boundaries - following concerns expressed when results were released last summer and the outcome of Ofsted’s A level maths - Maintenance of Standards Investigation, with discussion on:
- the impact of the move to a linear structure for the qualification, the altered content of the new qualification, and the decoupling from the AS Level, and
- the effect on teachers - particularly when teaching content that they are less familiar with.
The GCSE and Functional Skills Qualifications
- How the new GCSE has affected the confidence of pupils, particularly those that are less able and whether it is effective for those that do not pass initially to re-sit the qualification.
- Possible alternative qualifications, including suggestions that:
- GCSEs should be split into two qualifications or the introduction of a Passport in Maths as proposed by ASCL, and
- a new maths GCSE could be introduced in place of resits to allow students to achieve a level 4 or 5 qualification and focused on the maths needed for everyday life and work.
- Implementation of the recently reformed Functional Skills Qualifications in maths, introduced last September, including:
- recent concerns surrounding the invigilation of the new qualifications, and
- how to ensure that they are providing students with skills relevant to employers.
- Recruitment and retention of teaching staff, with increased difficulties for schools in recruiting teachers with maths degrees.
- Strategies for tackling significantly acute shortfalls in recruitment of teachers, particularly with relevant degrees - including options such as bursaries to help attract and retain maths teachers.
- The impact of Ofsted’s new inspection framework on maths teaching so far - particularly its increased focus on the curriculum and the ‘quality of education’.
- Looking ahead to Ofsted’s forthcoming thematic review of maths teaching.
Regional inequalities and initiatives
- The impact of the maths hubs programme with 37 hubs now established across England and the rise in PISA rankings for England, with discussion expected on:
- possible future expansion of the programme, and
- how it can continue to spread best practice.
- How numeracy skills can be improved in particular regions, such as in the North East, with:
Developments that are relevant to the discussion:
- Maths teaching in England - key policy priorities
- The impact of qualification reform on the maths curriculum and teaching staff - looking ahead to the new GCSEs and A Level curriculum, introduction of core maths, and qualifications post GCSE
- Current standards of maths teaching in England - key findings from the OECD
- Improving the quality of maths teaching: teacher recruitment and retention, teaching styles, the impact of maths hubs and adjusting to the new inspection framework
- Maths and Ofsted’s new inspection framework - the impact so far on teaching and learning standards
Policy officials attending:
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Education and the Welsh Government.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
- information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
- conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
- speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
- opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
- a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
- delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
- networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!
Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference