The Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry

Home page
The Report
About the Inquiry
Press Releases
Who's involved
Workshops #1

ACME/The Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry Workshop

Post-14 Mathematics Education:
Towards a Baccalaureate?

Hosted on behalf of the Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry by the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME), this one day workshop provided an open forum for over 100 representatives from across the 'mathematical world', to discuss long-term possibilities for the future of post-14 mathematics education in the UK.

The day, introduced and chaired by Chris Llewllyn Smith (Chair of ACME), opened with a welcoming speech from Adrian Smith and a review of the government's working group on 14-19 reform by Chair of this group, Mike Tomlinson.

^  top of page

School mathematics teachers, university mathematicians, mathematics education experts, and many others involved in school mathematics and its organisation, were asked to consider the pros and cons of the current UK 14-19 mathematics education offerings by comparing and contrasting it with four other systems, described by four eminent speakers; Catherine Dufossé, Roger Brown, Gabrielle Kaiser and Alison Wolf, who described the French system, the International Baccalaureate and Australian system, the German system and vocational mathematical training in Europe, respectively.

^  top of page

The participants of the workshop discussed these systems and the UK system in more detail in four break out groups. The feedback and plenary discussion brought to light a number of issues that had been discussed in each group, and reflected an overwhelming consensus that there was a need for change that would engage all pupils in this age group with mathematics at some level. It was recognised, however, that these changes should be implemented with due care and considerable forward planning.

In his final comments, Professor Adrian Smith expressed his satisfaction that the day had seen the beginnings of a serious discussion about vocational pathways. He also noted the detailed planning now required to realise the concept of a National Centre embracing local networks, which, he stated, 'have tremendous potential to make a significant, positive impact.' Finally, Professor Smith responded to the call for change with a note of caution, recognising that before we can start to think about how long it will take to implement change, we first needs to know where we want to go, and this is something that we need to begin mapping out later this year.

The feedback from the day was extremely positive and the Inquiry would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their contributions to the workshop.

^  top of page

  1st Workshop home page


Speakers' Presentations

| Terms and Conditions | Help! |
For further information and to make comments please see the DfES website: