Updating the maths curriculum

Specialist to lead improvements.

Maths will be the first subject area to be updated as part of a new approach to improvement to ensure that Scotland’s curriculum remains engaging, forward looking and supports high quality teaching and learning.

Beginning in 2024, a maths specialist will lead on this work, alongside the National Response to Improving Mathematics (NRIM), which will include looking at curriculum relevance and transitions between primary and secondary.

The 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, which published last week, showed that in Scotland performance in reading was above the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) average, with results in maths and science in line with the average. This was also the case in the previous survey, in 2018.

Updating Parliament, Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills Jenny Gilruth said:

"While the latest PISA stats showed Scotland has maintained our global standing, every country in the UK has seen a reduction in its PISA scores across maths between 2018 and 2022. I was clear there will be key learnings for us to address reflecting on the latest statistics covering education in Scotland.

“Wider evidence from both the 2023 national qualification results and the most recent literacy and numeracy data for primary, show clear evidence of an ongoing recovery which we are determined to build on. My view is that maths education requires to be a central focus for Government, councils and schools alike.

“I want this work nationally to be led by a maths specialist working alongside the National Response to Improving Mathematics. They will also provide a key role in driving the improvements required to improve Scotland’s performance in maths." 


A maths national thematic inspection, with a focus on teaching and learning will also be carried out by the interim Chief Inspector in 2024, to support this work.

The Council of Deans will also convene their Initial Teacher Education National Maths Group.  The group will ensure initial teacher education aligns with the latest developments in maths and numeracy.


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