Rishi Sunak will unveil plans to make some form of math study compulsory by age 18 to enable the UK to compete with the best education systems in the world.
But the change won’t happen until the next election, according to opinion polls currently suggesting the Conservatives will lose to Labor.
At his first public meeting of the year, Mr. Sunak will deliver a speech in central London, warning that the jobs of the future will require more analytical skills than ever before.
“To let our children into the world without these skills would be to disappoint our children,” he will say.
It will also point out that, unlike many other countries, only half of 16-19 year olds study math.
It appears that Mr. Sunak wanted a revolution in numeracy to reflect what has been seen in literacy over the past decades and sees it as part of a mission that can help create a better future for Britain.
However, math A-Level will not be compulsory for everyone. Instead, the ministers are looking at students taking one type of math class, among other subjects.
The A-level system narrows the number of subjects young people study faster than in other countries. While critics say it curbs the urge to create well-rounded courses, supporters say it allows students to adapt more quickly to the rigors of a college course.
Mr. Sunak, who was educated at Winchester College, will say in his speech: “This is personal to me. Every opportunity I had in life started with the education I was very lucky to get.
“This is the most important reason why I entered politics: to give every child the highest possible standard of education.”
He will praise previous Conservative governments, saying that “incredible progress” has been made thanks to their reforms and teachers’ hard work.
He will also say that “with a true commitment to excellence – I see no reason why we shouldn’t rival the best education systems in the world”.
Work on the changes will begin in this parliament, but will not be completed until the next election, which will create a challenge for the Labor Party and it will have to abandon the idea and decide to move forward.
Around eight million adults in England are thought to have the numeracy skills of a primary school child.
Many developed countries, including Canada, Germany, Finland, Japan and the USA, require that mathematics be studied by age 18.
The measure will be designed to benefit students in day-to-day life as well as in the job market, including giving students skills that will enable them to become financially confident later in life, such as finding the best mortgage deal or savings rate.