GCSE Mathematics

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Duncan Hames Duncan Hames Liberal Democrat, Chippenham

What his policy is on the inclusion of financial education in the mathematics GCSE.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes The Minister for Universities and Science, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

I should have more than a normal spring in my step today, because my son, William, passed his 11-plus, and I heard about it this weekend.

The Government are currently reviewing the national curriculum, which will go out to public consultation in the new year. We will await the outcomes of that work before making any decisions on the content of GCSE mathematics, to ensure that it aligns with the new national curriculum and reflects the core mathematical knowledge and skills that young people need.

Photo of Duncan Hames Duncan Hames Liberal Democrat, Chippenham

Only in this place could three follow one.

Having taken as many maths qualifications as I possibly could when at school, I certainly appreciate the eternal beauty of geometry, but does the Minister not accept that, for many school leavers in today’s world, it is more valuable to understand the true value of a compound annual growth rate on an investment or, more likely, the annual percentage rate on a loan?

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes The Minister for Universities and Science, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The hon. Gentleman is right that finance education matters. Indeed, as a governor of the George Ward school in his constituency, he will take seriously the role that core mathematical education plays in providing people with those applied mathematical skills necessary for their well-being and our collective well-being. The Government take that seriously, and we will certainly work to ensure that maths does the job that it should.