http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/maths-reform/9101621/Numeracy-Campaign-teenagers-struggle-with-GCSE-maths.html According to the DfE study, just 59 per cent of teenagers in England gain A* to C grades in maths – fewer than any other academic subject. It suggests many pupils view maths as harder than most other subjects - giving them less confidence to study it at an advanced level. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/maths-reform/9103865/Numeracy-Campaign-maths-curriculum-failing-to-meet-the-needs-of-the-21st-century.html For the majority of young people, maths is a meaningless subject, with 85 per cent of students quitting it as soon as they are allowed. For too many, maths is just a series of disconnected techniques and formulae. It seems dry and academic. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/feb/24/exam-boards-tighten-four-gcses The exams regulator, Ofqual, announced it was making changes to GCSEs in English literature, maths, history and geography to ensure students studied the whole curriculum. It is understood the move comes after concerns were raised that pupils were only studying topics that were likely to come up in the exams, rather than the entire course. Before I come onto my main point, is it us (on boards like this) that have caused the last part? Due to the hierachy of maths, we all know that borderline B/C pupils are often not taught all the work at grades A and A*. Why? Simple. If they cannot factorise quadratics and add and subtract fractions effectively then solving algebraic fractions is meaningless. Onto my main point. Read the two articles in the Telegraph. Pupils both find Maths hard and meaningless. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8687244/Study-maths-up-to-18-says-Carol-Vorderman-report.html The study, led by Carol Vorderman, the TV presenter, also recommended creating a new-style practical maths GCSE to give slower pupils a decent understanding of real-life issues such as managing their finances and data handling. It seems inevitable that we are being pushed towards this outcome. Similar to English, we will see a Pure and an Applied Maths exam. So, what is stopping the Government making this change? Teachers? Parents? Cost? Are they worried about the very really need to train teachers for the change and the cost that would incur? Or is it simply the very real issue that middle-class parents might cause a lot of fuss if their children are "consigned" to studying the Applied course which might be seen as less academically challenging and thus second-class?