Maths in the News

There have been discussions in the maths department recently surrounding a recent news article about making mathematics compulsory for learners up to the age of 18. The article briefly outlined the government intentions to make some sort of maths compulsory for learners, up to the age of 18.

Our learners gave their opinions on the government’s plan, with most stating that the new plan is potentially unfair. One learner said, “what if you’re just really not good at maths or get really distressed by it, it’s cruel to keep someone who suffers like that to keep learning maths until they’re 18!” 

In the discussion, I informed learners perhaps the government is taking this stance because it is revealed that eight million people across the UK, aged 16-64 years old, are below the standard of 9-11 year olds, in mathematics. This was met with silence, at first, but was followed by more interesting questions, such as “What if someone goes into employment upon leaving school, how will the government be able to force this person to do maths at college?” and “how will the government be able to keep someone at college if they don’t want to go?”  Another learner added “Will I have to keep learning maths until I’m 18?” 

Lucky for these learners, this is still being researched by the government, and it has been reported that the earliest time this proposal could come into force, if indeed it does go ahead, won’t be until after 2025. We will be keeping an eye on this story and other similar stories in the near future.