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Government announce that children must take Maths until the age of 18


United Kingdom, July 5, 2012 -- The government has announced that pupils who fail to get the minimum of a grade C in Maths will be forced to do the subject until the age of 18. This action has been the response to findings that many students are leaving school without adequate skills in numeracy.

The changes which have been made by the coalition government come into action in September 2013. The education secretary Michael Gove had received many complaints from employers that young people were entering the work place without adequate mathematical skills. Some employers have been face to put on additional maths classes to teach people starting work basic numeracy skills.

It also follows the report from Professor Alison Wolf which warned some pupils were being diverted into cul-de-sac vocational qualifications - when they lacked the basic skills they most needed.

More than 60,000 youngsters a year reach 19 without having had any further lessons in Maths, after failing the subject at 16, says the Department for Education. The changes, linked to increasing the leaving age for education and training, will mean young people in the UK education system beyond 16 will be expected to reach an adequate level in maths, by acquiring at least a GCSE grade C in the subject.

For those with near-miss D grades, there is an expectation pupils will re-take to get to a C grade or higher. For those who have weaker skills, there will be other tests or lessons which might not lead to a qualification. The proposed changes highlight the over failure of the Labour Government to raise standards in schools when they were in government.

The shadow education secretary Mr Twigg  criticised the plans saying said the change represented “another blow for young people”. He then went on to say "If the government is serious about raising the age at which young people leave education, they should implement the measures included in the legislation Labour introduced such as requiring employers to check a young person is enrolled on a course before employing them and arrange work to fit round education or training.”

Under the proposals, the process of raising the compulsory age for education and training to 18 will be completed in 2015. It will address the high drop-out rate at the age of 16 - a measure in which England’s school system has lagged behind many other industrial countries.

Managing Director of private tuition bureau Top Grade Tutoring Steven Britton says welcome the changes. He says that "for far too long there has been a culture of rewarding failure and not enough emphasis on hard work and determination pass maths.”

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