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Readers have been sharing their thoughts on a proposal to introduce an additional GCSE in 'everyday' maths to help raise numeracy levels.
Here is a selection of comments left on the ITV News Facebook page:
Children should be given a proper and thorough grounding in the basics of maths and numeracy when in primary school. Bring back the weekly mental arithmetic and reading tests that my generation had up until the 1960's!
Everything I studied for GCSE Maths disappeared from my memory the minute I left the exam room because the vast majority of it had no place in everyday life. I am the first to admit I am horrific when it comes to maths!
Too many changes [are] happening at the moment ... It's just too much for schools to handle at the moment. I suggest coming back to the idea once they have tested the new changes.
National Numeracy - a charity focusing on adults and children with low levels of numeracy - has described the lack of everyday maths skills as a "massive challenge" for the UK.
Its research has found that:
- Around half of adults have the everyday maths skills expected of primary school children
- Three-quarters of adults cannot show the numeracy levels needed to get a decent GCSE grade
- Poor numeracy costs the UK economy around £20 billion a year
A national charity has called for an additional GCSE in "core maths" to be introduced to teach pupils how to use numeracy to solve everyday problems.
National Numeracy said it would "expect most children to take both GCSEs and all to take at least the new numeracy (or core maths) GCSE".
"It would be recognised by students, schools, employers and further and higher education as different from, but no less valuable than, GCSE maths," the charity added.
The idea is part of a seven-point plan unveiled by the charity, which also calls for a new measure of numeracy skills at age 14, which could then be used as a "benchmark" of the level of numeracy they will need for their future studies.
England's exams regulator Ofqual has confirmed the new grading system for GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths, will see A*-G grades replaced with 1-9 - with 9 the highest result.
These figures indicate that fewer pupils could achieve the very best results in these subjects following the introduction of the new grading system:
- The same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above.
- The same proportion of teenagers who currently score at least an A will gain a grade 7.
- The top 20% of those who score at least a 7 will be awarded a grade 9.
- According to last year's national results 3.3% of English GCSE candidates were awarded an A*.
- In English literature, 5.5% of exams gained an A* last summer, while 4.6% would have scored a grade 9 under the overhaul.
- In maths, 4.9% of last year's entries - about 37,248 in total got an A*, while 2.9% - about 22,045 - would have achieved a grade 9.
Fewer students may achieve the highest marks in new GCSE English and maths exams, it has been revealed.
Under major reforms to be rolled out in 2017, only a fifth of pupils who would currently achieve at least an A grade will be awarded a "grade 9", the top result available in the system.
This could mean as few as 3% of students could achieve the highest mark in the future.