Tag Archives: maths

Lunchtime debate: What do you think about Maths to 18?

Rishi Sunak is setting out plans to force everyone in England to study Maths until they are 18.

The BBC quotes the PM:

In a world where data is everywhere and statistics underpin every job, our children’s jobs will require more analytical skills than ever before,” he will say.

And letting our children out into the world without those skills, is letting our children down.

Just half of 16 to 19-year-olds study maths, according to Mr Sunak – but this figure includes pupils doing science courses and those who are already doing compulsory GCSE resits in college.

Apparently no new qualifications are planned, and students will not be forced to do the A Level, so this seems at the moment to be more soundbite than policy. It’s designed to appeal to older Conservative voters who think that education has gone to the dogs since they stopped making you recite your times tables every morning.

I was thrilled to be able to ditch Maths for my final year at school, but I had to do the Scottish Higher in 5th year (when I was 17). I managed to scrape a B for my Higher, but it was pure hell. While I was always good at arithmetic, I really struggled with Calculus and anything other fairly basic Trigonometry and Geometry. Forcing me to take Maths for an extra year, when I was going to be studying languages and social sciences would have been completely counter-productive.

I am all for encouraging numeracy and analytical skills, especially in girls, but it seems to me that a one size fits all policy wouldn’t work. For some people, forcing them to study Maths all the way through school might be at the expense of a qualification that enhances their career and life chances.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 22 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Zachary Adam Barker
    "Ed Davey is the likeliest leader of the current crops of MPs" Then perhaps we should consider allowing the party leader to come from outside of the Commons ...
  • Chris Cory
    The fundamental point behind this piece, that the typical family is £1200 worse off since Rushy Sanuk (as Joe Biden likes to call him) came into office, seems ...
  • Chris Moore
    Ed Davey is the likeliest leader of the current crops of MPs. He may not be particularly charismatic - a common criticism on here - but he's decent and solid an...
  • Chris Cory
    @Steve Trevethan. Dividends paid to the the owners of any company are not inflationary because they are simply a distribution of profits from the companie...
  • Chris Moore
    "Neo-Liberalism" is not dominant. All main parties support a mixed economy with transfers to the poorer off. The devil is in the detail, not in over-arching ...