An update from the Department for Education on Core Maths

Published: Tuesday 11 Mar 2014

The Department for Education (DfE) has provided some information about the new Core Maths qualification.

  • Core Maths will not be a compulsory qualification.
  • Core Maths will count as the maths element of the new Tech Bacc and should be counted in the new 17 to 19 performance measure, which will show the proportion of students who achieve level 3 maths qualifications.
  • Core Maths will be a level 3 qualification accredited by Ofqual. It will be no more than half the size of an A-level with mainly end-of-course examination.
  • Core Maths will suit students who achieve an A* to C in GCSE Maths but who do not wish to study AS or A-level Maths.
  • It will complement a wide range of current post-16 qualifications, including non-maths AS and A-levels, and vocational qualifications.
  • It focuses on problem solving and builds on new GCSE maths courses, as well as developing skills that Industry and Higher Education have said are essential to future success in using maths in real-life situations and study.
  • Core Maths will be available for first teaching from September 2015. You'll be able to see the specification from autumn 2014.
  • The DfE is also funding a Core Maths support programme to help schools and colleges to introduce new qualifications, for example, sharing effective teaching and providing support for the professional development of teachers and lecturers.

Early adoption

From autumn 2014 the DfE will fund schools and colleges to become early adopters of Core Maths qualifications. In addition to preparing students for Core Maths qualifications, early adopters will be expected to work with the Core Maths Support Programme (CMSP) to develop teaching approaches and materials, to support professional development and to generally lay the foundations for successful implementation when Core Maths becomes widely available.

Schools and colleges, or a group of schools and colleges working in consortia, can submit proposals for funding to develop and deliver early Core Maths teaching for 2014/2015.

You can find out more and apply on the DfE website. The closing date for applications is 9 April 2014 and if you have any questions about the early adoption scheme, please email the DfE directly at

Take part and help shape our Core Maths qualification

We've got over 10 years' experience offering innovative level 3 advanced qualifications through our Free-Standing Maths Qualifications (FSMQ) suite. Now we want to build on that experience and work with teachers to make sure we develop a qualification for Core Maths that appeals to students and which teachers can teach.

If you're interested in adding your input to the development of our Core Maths qualification, email the maths team now, give them a call on 0161 957 3852 or complete this short survey

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