Feeds

Bribes could increase maths intake

Oxford rector suggests cash reward for A grades

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
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?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
ASTEROID'S SHOCK DINO-KILLING SPREE just bad luck - boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
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

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.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.