17 August 2017
The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) welcomes the continuing strength of entry numbers and results in A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics this year. The results statistics out today show that Maths remains the most popular subject at A level, with 95 244 entries in the UK in 2017, a 3.3 percent increase on last year. The pass rate this year was 97 per cent, with 42.3 per cent of students getting an A or A*, an increase of 0.5 percentage points.
Equally encouraging is the continued rise in the numbers taking Further Mathematics at A level: up from 15 257 last year to 16 172. The pass rate for Further Maths this year was 98 per cent, with 58.1 per cent getting one of the top two grades, an increase of 1.9 percentage points. This success reflects the continued success of the Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP), managed by the NCETM’s consortium partner, Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI).
The NCETM’s Director, Charlie Stripp, said:
'The continued growth in A level entries for Mathematics and Further Mathematics really is excellent news. It reflects an increasing awareness, supported by research evidence, of the value of the mathematics A levels as a passport to higher education and employment across a wide range of subjects. Every student achieving a grade 6 or above on the new GCSE Maths this summer should consider studying at least AS Mathematics, and should be given the opportunity to do so, and those achieving a grade 5 should discuss with their school or college the possibility of taking AS level Maths.
'More students taking maths at A level is both very valuable to the individual students in terms of improving their life chances, and great news for the country as a whole. Maths skills are very valuable to our national economy but, despite these continued increases in numbers of students with A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, Britain still lags behind many of its international competitors in terms of the mathematics education of our workforce.'
Charlie Stripp is also Chief Executive of MEI, and more statements about today's AS/A level results can be found on the MEI and FMSP websites.
Turning to Core Maths, Charlie Stripp commented:
'It’s also brilliant that Core Maths numbers have grown so strongly. It’s vital this growth continues in future years, so that a far greater proportion of our young people learn these crucial quantitative skills. As my MEI colleague, Stella Dudzic says:
'Congratulations to students who have gained Core Maths qualifications today. It has been encouraging to see the growth in numbers sitting the qualifications, with 83 per cent more students taking Core Maths this year compared to last year.
'Core Maths qualifications enable students to think mathematically and to use maths in a range of contexts which they might meet in their future life, work and studies. It is good to see more schools and colleges offering their students the opportunity to study Core Maths qualifications.
'In addition to being increasingly important when studying other subjects at A level and beyond, quantitative skills are vital for all citizens, enabling them to participate fully in our democracy and strengthen our economy. Students who have gained at least grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics, and are not intending to take AS or A level Mathematics, should consider studying Core Maths.'
Congratulations from the NCETM to all those students who achieved AS and A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics this summer, and to their teachers.
Core Maths resources are now available on a dedicated area of the National STEM Centre website