16 to 19 funding: core maths premium

Updated 23 February 2024

Applies to England

1. About the core maths premium

In October 2023, the Prime Minister announced proposals to introduce the Advanced British Standard for 16 to 19 year olds, a new baccalaureate-style qualification that takes the best of A levels and T Levels and brings them together into a single qualification.

To support this proposal, we are introducing the core maths premium to encourage the provision of core maths qualifications and expand maths education for students up to the age of 18. It is intended to support students’ participation in programmes with core maths qualifications by ensuring that institutions have the resources to provide extra hours of education or other extra support where needed to deliver core maths qualifications.

2. Calculating the premium

2.1 Step 1: we identify the number of students studying core maths

Students in their first year of studying a core maths qualification will attract the funding, this includes those on study programmes and T Levels. Second year core maths students will not attract the funding. We will identify the number of students undertaking an eligible core maths qualification in the academic year prior to the allocation year.

We will get this data from the individualised learner record (ILR) R04 and autumn census data for that year. For example, for academic year 2024 to 2025 allocations, we will use 2023 to 2024 ILR R04 and the autumn 2023 school census.

A student cannot attract funding through both the core maths premium and the advanced maths premium in a funding year. Therefore, where a student is identified as eligible for both, the student will remain in the count of eligible students for the core maths premium and will be removed from the count of eligible students for the advanced maths premium.

2.2 Step 2: calculating the premium

The funding rate for a student studying core maths is £900 for one year only. This is because most students study core maths over one year. Second year core maths students will not attract the payment. We will pay the premium as part of the 16 to 19 funding allocation.  

3. Check who is eligible for the premium

All schools, colleges and other institutions receiving a 16 to 19 allocation from Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and delivering core maths qualifications will be eligible for the funding. The exception to this is maths schools, which are already required to enter all their students for maths and further maths A level courses.

All full-time and part-time students eligible for ESFA 16 to 19 funding can attract the premium provided they:

  • have prior attainment equivalent to GCSE grade 9 to 4 in maths
  • pass a qualifying period of either 6 weeks for a qualification with a planned length of 24 weeks or more, or 2 weeks for a qualification with a planned length of less than 24 weeks
  • are studying an eligible core maths qualification

4. Eligible qualifications

These 4 qualifications are eligible for funding:

  • 60147830 – Core Maths A (MEI) Level 3 Certificate
  • 60147829 – Core Maths B (MEI) Level 3 Certificate
  • 60148573 – Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics in Context
  • 60149450 – AQA Certificate Level 3 Mathematical Studies

The department has published technical guidance on core maths qualifications.

5. Contact us

If you have questions after reading our guidance, or if there’s anything else you need help with, you can find more support in our customer help centre.