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IOP responds to Rishi Sunak’s compulsory maths to 18 plans

4 January 2023

Proposals to expand provision of maths education welcome but need far more detail on teacher numbers, infrastructure and support.

Commenting today following the prime minister’s proposal to make maths compulsory for all students to age 18 in England, Tom Grinyer, the chief executive of the Institute of Physics group, said: “Maths is a foundational subject for science, develops skills crucial for the economy of the future and, if supported properly, can provide young people, from all backgrounds, with opportunities to prosper and transform their world.

“Increasing the number of students choosing maths and numerate studies, including physics, is welcome. But any plan needs to also address the shortage of maths and science teachers and provide real support to young people from under-represented backgrounds to help students feel these subjects are a good fit and do well in them.

“Simply mandating compulsory maths until 18 is not enough in itself without the appropriate number of teachers, infrastructure and support.”