I’m not sure how much use some of this will be, but thought I’d share it anyway …

There is so much change in the pipeline, and so many things yet to be confirmed by the DFE in terms of equivalencies between the new GCSE’s from 2015 and the current qualification that sometimes its difficult to see the “wood from the trees”. No doubt the information will come out to us at the coalface in due time, but when it does all the information we need, will come at once and we’ll end up at the other end of the spectrum and will have to pick out the pertinent bits that relate to us. With all these changes happening to the “core qualifications” it would be easy to ignore the changes happening on the periphery to other maths qualifications and there is a danger that something will get “slipped in“, so for those of you that offer other types of maths qualifications the following may be of interest:

  • iGCSE no longer forms part of the league tables and DFE are yet to make the decision (or if they have they are yet to tell anyone, but that’s nothing new!) as to whether Level 1/2 Certificates in Mathematics will continue to be allowed. The longer term availability of both of these are also at either end of a spectrum:
    • It is probable that iGCSEs will continue to be available through some exam boards – for some, it is a big overseas market, for example, Cambridge International Exams (who are also unregulated by Ofqual).  
    • Level 1/Level2 Certificates are only accredited up until 2016 so will be offered until then, but word on the street is that if entry numbers decline they may not be offered beyond then. It could also be the case that Oqual might decide not to accredit them further.
  • Free Standing Maths Qualfications (FSMQs) as I write this are to remain unaffected and will continue. However, no-one has a crystal ball! With the plans to change post 16 maths and the proposed introduction of “core maths” – (not to be confused with the parts of  AS/A2) there might be some overlap of content etc with FSMQs.

Personally, I think some of the plans for overhauling the maths landscape are really exciting, but at times I feel (especially with regards Post-16) that there is little joined up thinking in terms of ensuring the transition across key stages is smooth and seamless and I find myself wondering what the “big picture” looks like – I like to know what the “end result” should look like and right now I don’t feel that has been very clear.

Must say “Thank you” to the “maths God” that is Graham Cumming at Edexcel for always being so helpful, and answering my queries in relation to the above!! He is a legend and if you don’t have access to his Emporium … it is a must!!