Response to the Department for Education informal consultation on the characteristics of 'Core Maths'

03 March 2014

This is a response to the Department for Education's request for input on the characteristics of 'Core Maths' qualifications.

In general, the characteristics that are set out are consistent with the recommendations for post-16 mathematics qualifications and their implementation. However, there are some issues identified in the response. These include: the timescales outlined for the development of these qualifications are ambitious; the proposed size of the qualification, that is half an A level, would be problematic and recommends a qualification that is two thirds of the size of an AS level qualification; With regard to content, the new Level 3 post-16 qualifications should give students that opportunity to develop and use their mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding from previous study and engage critically with mathematics by developing problem solving skills in realistic contexts; Only a very limited number of mathematical techniques found in existing Level 3 mathematics qualifications should be included and strongly recommends that calculus is not included.