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The UK comprises four independent curriculum authorities - one for each of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. In all bar Scotland the school curriculum is based on “key stages??? which roughly translate as ages 4-7, 7-11, 11-14 and 14-16. The compulsory curriculum ends at age 16 although the majority of students in all four countries elect to continue post compulsory education beyond that age.

The English curriculum can be found at http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/. There is no single document for mathematics and each mathematics-related document needs to be read in conjunction with other documents concerning the function of the curriculum, its broad aims and so on. Additionally, as the English curriculum changes every time a new government is elected, the current curriculum is due to change in the coming months. It is a statutory curriculum and all state-funded schools must adhere to it. Independent schools do not have to follow it.

“The curriculum in Scotland is non statutory and so is not dictated by the Government. It is the responsibility of Government to provide the framework for learning and teaching rather than micromanage what goes on in individual schools. Responsibility for what is taught rests with local authorities and schools taking into account national guidelines and advice??? (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education/Schools/curriculum) Various curriculum documents can be found at the following URL. As with the English, there is no single document for the mathematics curriculum.http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/learningteachingandassessment/curriculumareas/mathematics/index.asp

 In Wales the curriculum can be found at the following. It is more straightforwardly structured than either the English or the Scottish

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/curriculuminwales/arevisedcurriculumforwales/?lang=en


In Northern Ireland the curriculum documents are at http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/. Like the English, the documents are spread over several pages and supported by various generic issues.

 

Paul Andrews
ICMI representative for the United Kingdom
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