Sixth-formers will be offered practical maths courses that teach skills including working out interest, currency rates and profit margins from this week. It is however up to individual schools and colleges to decide to provide the course.

MoneySavingExpert.com and its founder Martin Lewis have long campaigned for all schools to teach financial education, and since September 2014 it's formed part of the compulsory national curriculum for all maintained schools in England.

It's part of citizenship for 11-16 year olds and there are stronger links to it in maths for all ages. See our Financial Education resources, news and articles section for more on this.

But the new 'Core Maths' qualification is designed to give young people the maths knowledge they need in everyday life. It will help students to:

  • Increase their confidence in managing their personal finances, with practical examples on interest rates, mortgage repayments and tax contributions.
  • Better understand which mathematical approach to use to help them solve problems across a range of workplace and commercial settings.
  • Present real-life situations in mathematical terms and use their own maths skills to answer related questions and issues.

The course, which has the same UCAS points as an AS level, is aimed at those who would not normally study maths at A level or AS level, but need maths skills in further studies on courses such as economics, geography or social sciences.

You'll qualify to study it if you achieve a C or above in GCSE maths. It is however up to individual schools and colleges to decide to provide the course. The Government couldn't give us the figures of how many are offering it at launch.

Schools minister Nick Gibb says: "Maths skills aren't just used in the classroom - they are vital in everyday life, whether you are running your own business or trying to pick the best mortgage."

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

Martin Lewis
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