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.