Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of UK, will on Wednesday is expected to announce plans to force school pupils in England to study math up to the age of 18, according to a Downing Street briefing. The initiative attempts to tackle innumeracy and better equip young people for the workplace. In 2023, in his first speech, Rishi Sunak is expected to underline the plans for math subject. He is expected to highlight the plans that are to be offered through alternative qualification routes. Comparatively, traditional A-Levels subject-based qualifications allow high school students in England to elect academic subjects to study between the ages of 16 and 18.The prime minister may also use the speech to address the litany of issues facing the country, as he looks to shore up his government’s position after a chaotic 2022 for the ruling Conservative Party and the U.K. economy.
Sunak’s education proposals would only affect pupils in England. Education is a devolved issue, with Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish authorities managing their own systems.School-based education in England is only compulsory up to the age of 16, after which children can choose to pursue further academic qualifications such as A-Levels or alternative qualifications, or vocational training. The prime minister is expected to say in his Wednesday speech that the issue of mandatory math is “personal” for him.
He is expected to acknowledge that the planned overhaul will be challenging and time consuming, with work beginning during the current parliamentary term and finishing in the next.This would leave the future of the policy uncertain, if Sunak’s Conservative Party loses the next general election slated for 2024. The main opposition Labour Party currently holds substantial leads in the polls.
Rishi Sunak is expected to say that “One of the biggest changes in mindset we need in education today is to reimagine our approach to numeracy. Right now, just half of all 16–19-year-olds study any maths at all. Yet in a world where data is everywhere and statistics underpin every job, our children’s jobs will require more analytical skills than ever before.”