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ICE backs two tier GCSE to solve maths crisis

A TWO tier GCSE maths exam could boost the number of students taking and passing the subject at A level, the ICE said this week.

The Institution supports the splitting of maths into two GCSEs. Core Maths would teach day to day maths such as fractions, percentages and graphs, while Advanced Maths would teach harder areas such as calculus and trigonometry.

The core GCSE would be compulsory, while the advanced GCSE would be taken by the brighter, roughly 20% of pupils, who will be pushed through the core maths curriculum at an accelerated pace.

It is hoped these students will then be better placed to tackle AS level maths, taken a year after GCSEs, and A level maths, taken the following year.

The move is prompted by a massive 12% fall in the number of pupils taking maths A level this year. Last year 29% of those taking AS level maths failed.

The ICE fears is that this fall will have an immediate knock-on effect on the number of students choosing to study civil engineering degrees.

Traditionally, students wanting a place on a Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) approved civils degree course had to have A level maths. But because of the fall in A level maths passes this year the JBM has temporarily suspended this requirement.

INFOPLUS (see feature P18)

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