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Effective Practices in Post-16 Vocational Maths 2014

Principal focus of the project

The objective of the project is to inform work which aims to improve the teaching and delivery of maths for learners aged 16 to 19, with a focus on the teaching of learners who have previously struggled with maths and who have reached the age of 16 without a GCSE in maths at grade C or above. It looks particularly at innovative approaches and international good practice in this area, and focuses on pedagogy as well as how to enhance learner motivation and engagement. It also considers the experience of employers in supporting the teaching of maths to learners who are working and studying post-16.

What is this about and what were the main findings?

The report found a negative culture of maths learning in the UK, along with an acceptance of failure in maths teaching and learning, while employer expectations for Maths ability are not being met. The success of vocational maths policies was found to be linked to both the cultural importance given to maths as well as the success of school-level maths. There were found to a be a wide range of resources available to support teachers, but there is a significant lack of skilled teachers and trainers in vocational maths setting. Findings show the importance of, and need for, accurate and informal assessment early in maths courses and at the end - where maths is not part of end-of-course assessment, teaching time and attention given to it may be limited

Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

The Research Base


A report exploring the teaching and delivery of maths for learners 16-19 who have struggled with the subject, researching UK and international literature for effective practices and evidence from maths specialist organisations, FE providers, and individual consultants.