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Chinese teachers flown in to improve maths in England

Chinese maths teachers are to be flown to England in a bid to boost the country's standards in the subject.

Up to 60 English-speaking teachers from cities such as Shanghai will be taking part in a new exchange programme Credit: PA

Up to 60 English-speaking teachers will take part in a new exchange programme that will also see English maths teachers working in schools in China, the Department for Education said.

Ministers have previously said that England can learn from Asian nations which have topped international league tables in key subjects.

Recent international tests put Shanghai, along with a number of other Asian nations, at the top for maths skills.

Teens urged to study maths for 'everyday life'

Tens of thousands of teenagers are to be encouraged to study a new maths qualification, which covers topics relevant to every day life.

Teens are being encouraged to complete a new 'relevant' maths qualification. Credit: Press Association

Ministers have announced fresh details of new courses for 16 to 18-year-olds, which they say will give youngsters the numeracy skills they need for the workplace.

The courses are aimed at teenagers who score at least a C in GCSE maths but then usually drop the subject, the Government said.

They will include topics like statistics, probability and advanced calculation, the Department for Education said.

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GCSE maths suffering because of 'target-driven culture'

Last year 58.4% of maths entries were awarded at least a C, down 0.4% on the year before. Credit: Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire

Too many children are taking maths GCSE early or multiple times because of a "target-driven culture" which ends up damaging their education in the subject, experts have warned.

The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)'s comments come amid predictions that next week's GCSE results will show a continuing decline in maths grades.

ACME committee member Richard Browne: "The practice of early entry has a negative effect on most students' mathematical education and hinders their progression to a wide range of subjects post-16 and in higher education."

He added: "Repeated resitting and multiple entry reduces the time spent developing student's mathematics skills and knowledge, as well as having significant extra cost for schools."

England's exams regulator Ofqual recently suggested early and multiple entries were being driven by the pressure of league tables and the importance of gaining at least a C grade in the subject.