Pupils could study maths until they are 18

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George Osborne has announced plans in the Chancellor's Budget to make children in England continue with maths until they leave secondary school, reports the Telegraph.

The plan forms part of a package of measures designed to improve education, including doubling primary school sport, expanding breakfast clubs and launching a new mentoring programme.

Mr Osborne said: "Providing great schooling is the single most important thing we can do to help any child from a disadvantaged background succeed.

"It’s also the single most important thing we can do to boost the long-term productivity of our economy, because our nation’s productivity is no more and no less than the combined talents and efforts of the people of these islands."

Professor Sir Adrian Smith, the vice-chancellor of the University of London will be responsible for the consultation into whether all state-school pupils in England should study maths for longer. They are currently able to drop the subject at the age of 16 when choosing A-Level options.

Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman of the University, said: “A quarter of adults in England leave school with the maths skills we expect of a 10-year-old so it is great to see the Government will make studying maths compulsory until the age of 18.

“This is particularly important for women. The UK has made great strides in tackling the gender pay gap in recent times but we need to get more women into senior executive positions to end that gap once and for all.

"Without the language of maths you are disenfranchised from making critical decisions about risk, finance, and the direction of the economy."

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