Recently Rishi Sunak has shown determination in implementing mandatory maths until 18. His reasoning behind the matter is to tackle innumeracy and help children be better equipt for the workplace. Now naturally this caused an uproar from the students and rightly so I must add.


In the UK, 1 in 8 maths lessons is taught by a non-specialist maths teacher who lacks a degree in the subject. As well a cover maths teacher is extremely difficult to find. The key issue in extending compulsory maths is finding those extra maths teachers which is already a challenge. When gaining a maths degree, teaching does not look that appealing if you have access to far higher paying jobs hence the shortage. Increasing the demand will not make more maths teachers rush through the door it will merely apply more pressure on schools, and current maths teachers and result in students not receiving the education required.


Another issue is why should we continue maths further if so many already struggle with GCSE maths why should we force them to continue learning further maths? In 2019 (Chosen due to Covid-19 grade inflation) 67.3% received a passing grade of 4/C or above. That means 33% on average fail their Maths GCSE and forcing them to continue doing maths till 18 and learning newer content would only make mathematics more difficult and would not improve numeracy. This leads to many students left behind their peers and would probably not succeed again in their exams again at 18.


From the ages 16-18, most students are either doing A levels or Btecs and already are struggling to keep up with the huge amount of content they need to learn and revise. A compulsory maths, which they didn't choose, would leave students more stressed and anxious as they would need to choose between prioritising maths or the chosen subjects they need for their university courses. As well, many would just forget the majority of things they had learned because it's simply not useful, so I doubt it would improve numeracy as after 18 not many people would bother again.


Overall, we should not have maths taught until 18 due to the lack of maths teachers to teach the course to begin with and students who failed maths GCSE would be put at a greater disadvantage. A-level and BTEC students do not want extra work and stress on something that would have little to no effect on the courses they want to do in University.