ATL comment on maths being made compulsory to age 18 from 2015
21 June 2012
Commenting on MP Elizabeth Truss' paper calling for maths to be decoupled from A-levels and made compulsory until age 18 from 2015, Nansi Ellis, head of education policy and research at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
"It is vital for all young people to have competence and confidence in maths. Making maths compulsory however, is simply waving a big stick at a complex issue. We need greater thought about what maths young people need to learn to set them up for life; who will teach them given some will be in school, some in college and some in work; and how are they taught in each of their circumstances, given aptitude and engagement will vary.
"This announcement is yet more evidence of the lack of coherent strategy at the heart of government. We have already been asked this week to give our views on the development of A-levels, including maths.
"The Conservative-led government don't seem to know whether they want people to be able to choose where and how they learn, or to be told in great detail."
Notes to editors
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.