To pass you have to achieve (approximately) 50 percent on your various exams and evaluations, and I think that's quite reasonable. And yet, we still have employers - not all, I admit - who filter with GCSE and ignore other qualifications. Those who do functional skills are generally the ones who had a hard time in school studying mathematics, without even achieving 15 percent approval. To study A-Levels, students generally need a minimum of five GCSEs with grades between 4 and 9, including **math** and English.

It is important to teach everything and I think that everyone should do mathematics until they are 18 years old, whatever they are studying, but it should always have been two GCSEs, a bit like English. It should be changed to a more attractive name, such as Essential Mathematics or Standard, especially now that the content has increased. In fact, it is based on the collection of evidence throughout the program that demonstrate competence, knowledge and skills in mathematics. There is absolutely no doubt that the quality of teaching and the understanding of mathematics has improved in the school, university and provider population.

The new mathematical GCSEs were designed to be different from the old GCSE A* to G, so you can't really compare the new with the old. It didn't bother me with the incredible effort these students are doing nor did it bother me that the passing rate was around 35 percent, but it annoyed me because the passing grade was between 15 and 17 percent for the highest math test. It does not have the reputation of the GCSE gold standard and teaches functional mathematics designed to support a person in work and life. If a student wants a higher grade than a pass in mathematics and English (4 or higher), they may be able to retake the exam.

Interestingly, in places where students excel in mathematics, the emphasis is on thinking like a mathematician rather than covering miles of content a few inches deep. As part of the redesigned mathematics course, Ofqual established some rules regarding exam design to ensure that exam boards are consistent in the way they set up their exams. The Title Foundation discourages many students and their parents who think they are doing very simple mathematics.