Tes is reporting that the Department for Education has announced a trial of a basic maths premium to see if extra up-front funding, or the incentive of extra funding based on achievement, improves outcomes.
To be eligible for the trial, providers must be in a geographical area where current educational performance is defined as weak by the DfE and have students enrolled on a 16-19 programme who have yet to achieve a GCSE grade 4 or above in GCSE maths.
According to the DfE briefing, there will be flexibility in how the additional funding can be spent, as long as it goes towards improving the outcomes of low-attaining maths students. The announcement follows the inclusion of an £80 million maths premium for sixth-formers in the Autumn Budget, to encourage providers to recruit more A-level students taking the subject.
Catherine Sezen, senior policy manager at the Association of Colleges, said: “We would like to see this sort of investment being made available to all colleges. Colleges are working very hard throughout the country to improve students’ English and maths skills. This funding will impact on some but by no means all.”
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