As well as the investment in teaching, immediate action is already being taken in response to a number of the report’s recommendations including:
- Working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and the Royal Society Advisory Committee on maths education to ensure the design of the new T levels is based on expert mathematical advice
- Working with the Royal Society and British Academy to encourage universities and employers to better promote the value of maths qualifications
Nansi Ellis, assistant general secretary for policy at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "It is good news that the Government is not going to make maths compulsory for 16- to 18-year-olds as we know that this would have put a lot of students off staying in the sixth form. However, schools and colleges will need to know exactly what maths qualifications they will be required to teach. It is also good to hear that the Government has recognised that there is a shortage of maths teachers and that this crisis needs to be addressed right now.
"A recent Mathematical Association study shows that there has been “an “alarming” decline in the number of 16-year-old students willing to continue studying maths after taking this year’s tougher GCSE.
"After decades of work by teachers to encourage more students to do maths at A-level the Government has completely sabotaged this with its reforms to maths GCSE. We fear there will be fewer students taking maths and further maths in the future, not more."
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, President of the Royal Statistical Society said: “The Royal Statistical Society strongly welcomes the publication of Sir Adrian Smith’s review, and looks forward to working with the government, the education community and business to ensure that every student has the opportunity to develop their number and data skills. In particular, we are pleased about the emphasis on the importance of statistics at A level, acknowledging the rise of data science, and boosting the take-up of core maths.”