CBI backs call to make maths compulsory for 16+

A further voice has been added to the call for young people to study maths after the age of 16.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) asks for the Department for Education to “ensure that all young people continue studying maths post-16 at a level appropriate to them” in its report, ‘Skills for the creative industries: Investing in the talents of our people’.

The report, available here, highlights that only 15 per cent of students study maths beyond GCSE level, a figure far behind other nations such as France and Germany.

The lobbying organisation later states they welcome the ambitions of Education Secretary Michael Gove to ensure that “within a decade the vast majority of pupils are studying maths right through to the age of 18”.

The report argues advanced numeracy skills are “important to elements of the creative sector” and essential for tackling the “underachievement on basic skills”.

It follows a review comissioned by the Conservative Party proposing that all young people should be forced to study mathematics up to the age of 18.

The report, led by Carol Vordeman and titled ‘A world-class mathematics education for ALL our young people’, is available here.

It states: “To bring this country into line with the rest of the world, mathematics, in some form, should be made compulsory to the age of 18. The implementation of this recommendation is a matter of urgency.”

The report does not reference the role of FE colleges, apprenticeship programmes nor alternatives to the GCSE in mathematics, such as the Functional Skills qualification.