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Pupils need more maths for today's jobs

Pupils need more maths for today's jobs

Tuesday, 03 September 2013

Are maths skills taught in schools relevant in today's workplace?

Research recently published by The Sutton Trust asks whether the maths taught in England's secondary schools is relevant for the modern workplace.

The research report notes that few people would proudly declare their illiteracy, but many are happy to say that they're no good with numbers, and this attitude has to change.

It explains how important it is that people have the skills they need to apply what they learn in school to their everyday tasks at work.

Maths skills need practical application

The Sutton Trust report makes a number of recommendations, including the following:

• Alternatives to the traditional GCSE mathematics pathway should be developed that are rigorous, engaging for students, provide sufficient breadth and are valued by employers

• Computers should be used extensively to allow students to more easily transfer their mathematical skills into the workplace

• All young people should continue to study maths until the age of 18. Continued study of maths should focus on its application, so that it is relevant to university courses and a growing number of modern jobs.

The report found that GCSE maths teaches a range of practical maths skills but not their practical application in everyday life.

Researchers said the curriculum should provide students with more problem-solving situations involving ‘messy contexts that do not have straightforward solutions’ to develop children’s skills. Pupils should also have more opportunity to ‘interpret and communicate the mathematics that they are involved in’.

Are we lagging behind?

An earlier report by the Nuffield Foundation published in January this year states that only about 20% of students in England study mathematics after GCSE. This is lower than other comparable countries, including Scotland, where 48% of students study mathematics post-16.

It reiterates that high levels of participation in maths also rests on factors such as providing appropriate options for all students, not just those who enjoy and excel at maths.

How to boost work-relevant maths skills

Here at vision2learn for schools we believe that maths is a life skill, not just an academic requirement. We work hard to equip learners of all levels with practical maths skills for today’s workplace.

vision2learn for schoolsLevel 2 Maths online study resources provide a highly practical, vocational approach to maths, helping to boost confidence and motivation for learners who struggle with the subject.

Our Functional Skills Maths resource is designed to work alongside our Level 2 Maths learning materials to help learners use their maths skills to tackle real-life scenarios. Practical tasks help them to practise and apply their maths skills.

Crucially, our online maths resources help students to relate maths to the modern workplace.

Try our maths resources:

• Take a peek at our Level 2 Maths taster

• If you’d like a free demonstration of vision2learn in person or online, please get in touch.

We also offer a range of other online vocational courses and GCSE resources

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