Level 3 Mathematics Support Programme

Posted: 05/04/2018

MEI is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a contract by the Department for Education to deliver the new £16m programme to support level 3 mathematics, including AS and A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and Core Maths qualifications. The Advanced Mathematics Support Programme, or AMSP, will provide national support for schools and colleges in England to improve the teaching of mathematics post-GCSE and increase participation in level 3 mathematics.

The AMSP, which will commence on 1 May 2018 and will run for two years initially, will be managed by MEI working in partnership with Tribal Education. This partnership will facilitate coordination with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and the Maths Hubs.

The programme is a response to Professor Sir Adrian Smith’s review of post-16 mathematics, which emphasised the economic importance of post-16 mathematics education and highlighted regional and gender variations in the study of post-16 mathematics. The review recommended that the government continue to fund national support for level 3 mathematics qualifications. It supersedes the highly successful, government-funded Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP) (previously known as Further Mathematics Network), which has supported schools and colleges to increase participation in AS and A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and which MEI has managed since 2005.

The purpose of the AMSP is to increase participation and attainment in the study of level 3 mathematics qualifications. These qualifications are usually studied in Years 12 and 13, following on from GCSE Mathematics. They include the Core Maths qualifications, and AS and A levels in Mathematics and in Further Mathematics.

The AMSP aims to improve the availability, capacity, and quality of level 3 mathematics provision. It will support all state-funded schools and colleges in England, encouraging them to offer the full range of level 3 mathematics options, and providing high-quality professional development and resources. It will also engage with a wide range of stakeholders to raise awareness amongst Year 10 and 11 students, and their parents/carers, of the benefits of studying mathematics beyond GCSE. There will be a strong focus on the DfE’s Opportunity Areas and other areas of low level 3 mathematics participation, with the aim of improving social mobility.

A particular aim of the programme is to increase the up-take of Core Maths qualifications, which are designed for students who have achieved a standard pass in GCSE Mathematics, but who do not intend to take AS/A level Mathematics. In 2017 just over 5,300 students sat Core Maths examinations and there is significant scope for entries to grow substantially in the future. The programme will also ensure that students in all 16-19 state-funded schools and colleges can access AS and A level Further Mathematics provision, alongside AS and A level Mathematics.

MEI’s Chief Executive, Charlie Stripp, said:

“We are delighted that MEI has been recognised as having the experience and the expertise to deliver this new programme, which has the potential to stimulate further growth in uptake of AS and A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and to provide a major boost to the uptake of Core Maths.

Studying maths beyond GCSE level helps to ensure young people are equipped to play a full part as informed citizens in an increasingly data-driven world, and opens up exciting opportunities to access high income careers in business, technology, engineering and science. All students who achieve a grade 4 and above in GCSE Maths should study maths post-16, whatever their future aspirations. Core Maths is specifically designed for those students with a grade 4 or higher who do not aspire to a strongly maths-based career. This new programme should ensure it can establish itself as a mainstream qualification, offered by all schools and colleges teaching post-16 students.”

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