Mathematics A-level numbers continue to rise


The number of A-level Mathematics entries across the UK is up 3.3% on last year, with 95,244 students sitting the exam.

Figures released today by the Joint Council for Qualifications also show that:

  • A-level Further Mathematics has continued to rise in popularity, with entries increasing by 6.0% (to 16,172)
  • AS Mathematics entries decreased by 1.4% (to 160,450)
  • AS Further Mathematics entries increasing by 4.6% (to 27,980)

The London Mathematical Society (LMS) and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) extend their congratulations to all students receiving their AS and A-level results today.

The Mathematical Sciences offer a wide choice of rewarding careers and are a pre-requisite for jobs in all sectors of the economy, whether or not students go on to use their mathematics qualification in higher education. The numeracy, modelling, logical and problem-solving skills that students gain from their Mathematical Science studies are sought by employers, and the contribution these young people will make to our economic success in the future is crucial.

Dr Michael Grove, Honorary Secretary, Education, IMA, and Dr Vicky Neale, Member, LMS Education Committee added, ‘It is once again pleasing to note the increase in students studying both Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A-level and this is testament to the hard work of the Mathematical Sciences community in raising awareness of our subject and the opportunities it affords. However, we cannot be complacent: from September 2017 new AS and A-levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics are being introduced in England and we need to monitor the effect of these changes upon student participation and success. Further, with the UK continuing to lag well behind the rest of the developed world in the number of students studying Mathematics post-16 we need to explore a range of different pathways so that we might one day achieve the aspiration of most or all students continuing their study of Mathematics until the age of 18’.

Notes for Editors

  1. The London Mathematical Society (LMS) is the UK’s learned society for mathematics. Founded in 1865 for the promotion and extension of mathematical knowledge, the Society is concerned with all branches of mathematics and its applications. It is an independent and self-financing charity, with a membership of around 3,000 drawn from all parts of the UK and overseas. Its principal activities are the organisation of meetings and conferences, the publication of periodicals and books, the provision of financial support for mathematical activities, and the contribution to public debates on issues related to mathematics research and education. It works collaboratively with other mathematical bodies worldwide. It is the UK adhering body to the International Mathematical Union.
  2. The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) is the learned and professional society for mathematics. It promotes mathematics research, education and careers, and the use of mathematics in business, industry and commerce. Amongst its activities the IMA produces academic journals, organises conferences, and engages with government. Founded in 1964, the Institute has 5,000 members. Forty percent of members are employed in education (schools through to universities), and the other 60% work in commercial, industrial and governmental organisations. In 1990 the Institute was incorporated by Royal Charter and was subsequently granted the right to award Chartered Mathematician and Chartered Mathematics Teacher designation.
  3. The LMS and IMA are members of the Council for the Mathematical Sciences (CMS), which also comprises the Royal Statistical Society, the Edinburgh Mathematical Society and the Operational Research Society.
  4. For a complete set of national results, visit https://www.jcq.org.uk/examination-results/a-levels/2017
  5. Both the LMS and IMA commented on the recent Report of Professor Sir Adrian Smith’s Review of post-16 mathematics. https://www.lms.ac.uk/news-entry/20072017-1654/smith-review-post-16-mathematicsand https://ima.org.uk/6817/imas-response-smith-review-post-16-mathematics/
  6. Contact:

 Dr John Johnston

Joint Promotion of Mathematics
London Mathematical Society
De Morgan House
57–58 Russell Square
London WC1B 4HS.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7927 0804
Email: john.johnston@lms.ac.uk

 Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Catherine Richards House, 16 Nelson Street, Southend-on-Sea, Essex. SS1 1EF

www.ima.org.uk

London Mathematical Society

De Morgan House, 57-58 Russell Square, London. WC1B 4HS

www.lms.ac.uk

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