Feeds

Bribes could increase maths intake

Oxford rector suggests cash reward for A grades

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The head of an Oxford college has suggested that simple bribery might help boost the numbers of students taking maths at A-level.

Frances Cairncross, the rector of Exeter College, says a £500 reward for students who get a grade A at A-level might help sustain a recent increase in the number of students taking the subject, the BBC reports.

The number of students taking maths rose slightly last year, up almost six per cent on the year before. However, this followed a massive slump in entries a couple of years earlier.

Cairncross told reporters at the opening of the annual festival of the British Association for the Advancement of Science: "We still have fewer young people entering for maths A-level than in 2001. I want to see the recent upturn encouraged."

Of those studying maths and science A-levels, more than half of the top grades are awarded to students in independent schools.

"As head of an Oxford college, I cannot believe that those seven per cent of children who are educated in the independent sector are so much more brilliant than children in the maintained sector. I think that maintained schools are failing children in these crucial A-levels," Cairncross said.

She argued that the skills gained in studying more academic subjects (as opposed to, say, theatre studies) would be invaluable in helping the country have an informed discussion about issues like climate change.

Inevitably, there are those who disagree. The Beeb says John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, dismissed the notion, saying kids ought to chose the right subjects for them, not ones that might make them a bit of extra cash. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.