Ever since it was first introduced to the level 3 maths curriculum, schools and colleges in the South West have been keen to embrace Core Maths with a consistently impressive proportion of schools offering the subject… and a relatively high number of students taking it! With the number of Core Maths students rising year on year nationally, it would be tempting to think that the South West would be losing ground on some of the other regions in the country but I’m happy to report that the 2019/20 school census data showed a 13.5% increase from the previous year in the number of students enrolled on the course in the South West, and this constituted the second highest increase in numbers out of the nine AMSP regions in England. Despite the total number of students studying Core Maths in the South West now being slightly lower than in three of the other regions, the number of schools and colleges in the South West that could offer Core Maths is also lower so, when this is taken into account, the South West is still some way ahead of the pack.
In the summer of 2019, 99 schools and colleges in the South West (in AMSP terms, defined as Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire) had students taking the Core Maths exam. This constitutes just under 30% of the establishments with level 3 maths provision in the region. Given that in the region, the percentage of schools that had offered Core Maths at any stage up to and including the summer of 2018 was just over 20%, this represents a very healthy rise. Although figures are not available for summer 2020, it’s highly likely that this figure will have increased further still. Ten schools and colleges in the South West had over thirty Core Maths students entered in 2019, and Core Maths students could be found in sixth form and FE colleges, independent schools and grammar schools as well as in academies and state-funded schools.
It’s interesting that, in contrast to many areas of the country, Core Maths specifications from all three main awarding organisations are widely offered in the South West as well as the more recently introduced ‘Maths for Everyday Life’ award being taught at a couple of City Colleges in the region.
Having worked with Core Maths teachers since the course’s inception in 2014, I have always been inspired by the way the region as a whole has embraced the award, recognising the opportunity it affords our young adults to broaden, and deepen, their understanding of the application of maths. With support for Core Maths continuing to be offered by the AMSP and Maths Hubs through the next academic year, it’s hoped that the South West can continue to grow its roster of Core Maths schools and colleges and get even more of our students studying this fascinating, exciting and useful course.
We’re currently offering bespoke support to a number of schools who are in the process of setting up Core Maths. We’d be delighted to advise you on the benefits of the course and support you in the start-up process. Please speak with your local Area Coordinator for more details.