Is culture the missing piece in UK’s sustainable education system?

Is culture the missing piece in UK’s sustainable education system?
Courtesy: JW LTD | Stone Via Getty Images

Early in the New Year, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to make post-16 mathematics education compulsory to equip everyone with the skills needed in a world increasingly shaped by data and statistics. But does this add up in practice?

Given the struggle to recruit maths teachers, as identified by the National Foundation for Educational Research, and a general anxiety about mathematics amongst young people, Vichaar Manthan is exploring whether the real solution to better education outcomes is to be found amongst cultural factors.

  • Does the culture of school education in England need to change?

  • Who is responsible for this?

  • Are we reliant upon the state, or do local communities, home culture and other members of society have a role to play, as we strive for a more sustainable education that involves the flourishing of all?

These are some of the questions to be addressed at a special panel discussion this weekend.

The expert panel will include leading figures from the education sector such as Lord Tony Sewell, Founder and Chair of educational charity Generating Genius, who will bring their diverse perspectives to this complex and vital issue. It is conceived as an opportunity to engage with and and contribute to a nuanced and informative discussion about the future of mathematics education in the UK.

"Reading, ’Riting, and ’Rithmetic: Is culture the missing piece in a sustainable education system?" will take place at New Walk in Leicester.


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It will consider whether the government’s policy on compulsory post-16 maths alone will equip everyone with the skills needed for a data and statistics-driven world, or whether deeper cultural changes are required to improve education outcomes. It will delve into the role of mathematics education in shaping the future of the UK, and how we can work together to create a more equitable and sustainable education system for all.

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