Core Maths has been designed to maintain and develop real-life maths skills. What students study is not purely theoretical or abstract; it can be applied on a day-to-day basis in work, study or life and most courses will include a financial maths element. It will also help with other A-level subjects – in particular with science, geography, business studies, psychology and economics.

The skills developed in the study of mathematics are increasingly important in the workplace and in higher education; studying Core Maths will help students keep up these essential skills. Most students who study maths after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earning potential.

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The Minister's Letter

Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Standards (DfE) and Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science (BIS) have written to all university vice-chancellors to provide information on the new Core Maths qualifications which are being introduced for 16 year olds from this September. Universities will begin to see an increasing number of applicants with these qualifications from 2016 and the information provided is to help them and their colleagues be aware of Core Maths.

The Ministerial letter was accompanied by a briefing paper by Professor Paul Glaister, University of Reading, which provides more details on Core Maths and its relevance to higher education. As part of this communication to vice-chancellors, attention was drawn to Paul’s engagement with universities, and that Paul would very much welcome the opportunity to give institution-wide briefings on Core Maths to senior staff and staff responsible for admissions in universities.  All universities are encouraged to take up this opportunity to find out more about Core Maths, its relevance to higher education, and to discuss any aspects of Core Maths. Please contact Paul at p.glaister@reading.ac.uk to arrange a mutually convenient time for him to visit.

Paul Glaister is Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at the University of Reading, and for the last five years Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics there.  Paul is an ambassador for Core Maths, a consultant to the Core Maths Support Programme (CMSP), a member of the A level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB) for AS/A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and a higher education external expert adviser to The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

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We hope that A Level Mathematics and the new qualification, Core Maths, will continue to be popular choices. Mathematics provides students with problem-solving skills that open doors in a huge variety of careers and, as called for in the Royal Society’s Vision report, we want to see Mathematics to 18 for all becoming the standard across the UK.

The Royal Society


Q. What is your view of Core Maths, and what is its value to Higher Education?

Professor Paul Glaister

Ever since I became involved with Core Maths it is has been clear that this really is the solution to many of the issues identified across a range of reports that have sought to address the current and future needs of HE, and the UK more generally. As part of the drive to increase participation and raise standards, Core Maths will bring huge benefit to many young people, including those embarking on courses in HE for which A-level mathematics is not required but where mathematical knowledge and its application are nonetheless important...

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