The 2010 Education White Paper: ‘The Importance of Teaching’

Posted: 01/12/2010

The key chapter for curriculum development is chapter 4: Curriculum, Assessment and Qualifications.

The White Paper, and its accompanying document: ‘The Case for Change’, may be downloaded via:
http://www.education.gov.uk/b0068570/the-importance-of-teaching.

The text below summarises the parts of the White Paper most relevant to curriculum development in mathematics at GCSE and A level.  Sections in italics are taken directly from the White Paper.

We will focus central government support on strategic curriculum subjects, particularly mathematics and science

4.25     We will continue to provide additional support to encourage uptake of mathematics and the sciences.

4.26     ... providing support to increase the number of specialist teachers in physics, chemistry and mathematics and to improve the skills of existing teachers.

...The teaching of A level further mathematics will be supported by funding initiatives such as the further mathematics support programme.’ - will also promote physics and engineering.

We will reform GCSEs and A levels

4.47     Universities and learned bodies are to be fully involved in the development of A levels.

...We specifically want to explore where linear A levels can be adapted to provide the depth of synoptic learning which the best universities value.

4.48     Concern about re-sitting units – Ofqual will be asked to change resit rules to reduce re-sitting.

We will consider with Ofqual in the light of evaluation evidence whether this and other recent changes are sufficient to address concerns with A levels.

4.49     GCSE modularisation was a mistake: GCSE is too small to be taken in chunks over 2 years - leads to too much examination entry.

...Ofqual to consider how best to reform GCSEs so that exams are typically taken only at the end of the course.

4.50     Mark schemes to take greater account of the importance of spelling, punctuation and grammar for GCSE examinations in all subjects.

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