In a keynote speech made in London today Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, has said that all school pupils in England should study some form of maths until they are 18 years old, stating that numeracy is a “key skill every bit as essential as reading”. Sunak first proposed the “maths to 18” vision in January 2023, but Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has admitted that schools do not currently have enough maths teachers to implement Sunak’s plans.
Sunak argues that ending the “anti-maths mindset” in Britain is necessary to boost economic growth and to support this goal, he has also proposed an expansion in Maths Hubs, which are collaborative networks of schools working together to improve maths teaching and learning. Despite Sunak’s commitment to improving maths education, there are concerns about the feasibility of his plans without sufficient resources and support from schools.
The Prime Minister said in his speech:
“Everyone in our country will study some form of maths all the way to 18. Now let me be absolutely clear – I am not saying the answer is A-Level maths for everyone. But we do need to work out the maths our young people should study. So we’re going to look at what 16-18 year olds around the world are learning. And we’re going to listen to employers and ask them what they say the maths skills are that they need”.
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