20 September 2017
The NCETM Director, Charlie Stripp, has called on schools and colleges to lower their ‘entry requirements’ for students to be allowed onto A Level Maths courses. In a wide-ranging blog on the Level 3 (post-GCSE) maths landscape, Stripp suggests that schools and colleges should consider encouraging students with GCSE grades 5 or 6 (equivalent to just below and just above the old Grade B) to take AS/A level Maths. He points to statistics showing that, currently, more than 40 percent of those taking A level Maths end up getting an A or an A* grade. Using GCSE/A level Maths data, he suggests this is because most schools and colleges impose high ‘entry requirements’on A level Maths and concludes that, if more students with lower GCSE grades were admitted, they would be able to succeed at A level. This could, in turn, he argues, increase the total number of students passing A level Maths, from the current figure of 95 000 to around 135 000, which would be a good thing for the education and life chances of the students concerned, and good for the country as well.