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This conference examined next steps for delivery of quality post-16 maths education in England.
It was an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss implications of the Prime Minister’s ambition for all students to study maths until the age of 18.
The conference took place as the expert advisory group, created in April, continues to advise on how to implement the ‘Maths to 18’ Plan. With the group expected to provide its final advice to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State at the end of July, the conference will be an opportunity to feed into the expert group’s work.
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Tim Oates, Member, Maths to 18 Expert Advisory Group; and Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge University Press and Assessment; Professor Paul Glaister CBE, Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education, University of Reading; and Conrad Wolfram, Strategic Director, European Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Wolfram Research.
Speakers addressed concerns surrounding delivery of the ambition, including the recruitment and retention of maths teachers, and how to tackle staff shortages. It also came alongside calls for the Government to focus their efforts to improve numeracy across a wider age range, from early years to adult education.
Delegates considered the necessary maths knowledge and skills that students should possess for future employment, exploring the ideal form of maths content that might facilitate study until the age of 18 for all young individuals, and beyond.
Further sessions looked at the overall objectives of the Government’s plans against the backdrop of the current popularity of A-level maths, as well as the requirement for students who do not pass GCSE maths to resit until they do.
Sessions in the agenda included:
- assessing government’s ambitions: maths to age 18 - key priorities for post-16 maths
- improving the offer: course content - building on pre-16 student knowledge - best practice - engaging employers and HEIs to improve the relevance of maths - use of computer-based maths
- quality of maths teaching: post-16 teaching styles - the impact of maths hubs - teacher recruitment and retention
- qualification options: choice and variety for post-16 learners with different needs - progression to further study and employment - use of mathematical skills in the labour force
- implementation: key considerations for maths to 18