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£25m to help boost number of pupils studying Further Maths A level

Funding for the Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP) is being expanded to £25m over five years.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss has announced that funding for the Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP) is being expanded to £25million over five years.

The key aim of the FMSP is to increase the number of students studying further mathematics A level. Funding is used to target schools and colleges where no students are currently taking further mathematics, providing support to improve and extend their mathematics provision.

The FMSP started in March 2009, when funding was £1.5million a year. Since then, funding has increased to £1.75million a year in 2011, £3.25million a year in 2012, and £3.5million a year in 2013. In 2014/15, and for the next five years, the FMSP will be funded at £5million per annum.

More than 2,500 schools in England are registered with the FMSP. The programme helps schools and colleges improve and extend their mathematics provision through training courses for teachers, online teaching resources and online tuition for pupils. The programme also supports collaboration with the UK Mathematics Trust to run the Senior Team Mathematics Challenge for 15- to 18-year-old students. More than 1,000 schools have entered teams of four students for this year’s competition.

The FMSP delivers more than 1,000 teacher days of professional development each year for A level mathematics teachers. The programme has provided direct tuition to thousands of students. It also runs events in collaboration with universities across England.

There has been a 33 per cent increase in the last five years in pupils entering A level mathematics (from 64,593 to 85,714 pupils) and a 45 per cent increase for A level further mathematics (from 9,091 to 13,223 pupils). Entries have more than doubled since 2002. But, despite this rapid growth, further mathematics A level uptake is still relatively low. The FMSP will help promote further mathematics, helping ensure that every institution that offers mathematics A level also offers further mathematics. The programme will therefore help increase the number of pupils taking further mathematics A level.

Extended funding will provide support for teachers to prepare students better for STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper), AEA (Advanced Extension Award) and MAT (Mathematics Admissions Test) examinations. These are used as entry exams for leading universities including Cambridge University, Oxford University, Imperial College London and Warwick University.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said:

It is not good enough that only 60 per cent of state-funded schools and colleges offering A level Maths also offer further maths A level. These students are potentially missing out on a place at a top university to study maths and science.

That is why we are making £25 million available over five years to enhance the Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP). This programme targets schools and colleges where no students are currently taking further maths A level, helping them to improve and extend their maths provision. It is an excellent programme which will enable more students to study further maths A level.

Notes to editors:

The enhanced five-year funding contract begins in April next year. Tendering commences on Monday 8 April.

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Published 8 April 2013