Monday, 3 April 2017

Pupils are finding it harder to pass maths courses

"Students are drifting towards 'easier' subjects, government and qualifications body are warned." [Particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds thus widening the attainment gap.]

"Maths teachers have issued a stark warning to the Scottish government that changes to qualifications are making it harder for pupils to pass courses and have left staff feeling `demoralised`."

"The concerns are set out in a letter to education secretary John Swinney from the Mathematics Advisory Group Scotland (MAGS), seen by TESS."

Teachers feel that there is `too big a gap` between National 4 and National 5 maths, compared with their equivalent levels in the now-defunct Standard Grade qualification, the letter says. This `excludes hard-working candidates` who want to improve their maths skills but struggle with N5; only about two-thirds of the number completing N5 English gain an N5 in maths."

"In many cases, pupils `cannot achieve [N5] mathematics while they can achieve [N5] in many other subjects`, says the letter, which has also been sent to unions and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)."

"The removal of unit assessments across all subjects at N5 from 2017-18 a move announced by Mr Swinney last year in response to teaching unions’ concerns about workload will only make matters worse, warns the letter."

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