W P Richardson The Mathematical Association 259 London Road, Leicester
AS-level failure rates in mathematics at nearly 30 per cent were very poor (The TES, August 24). The Mathematical Association has predicted this outcome for the past 12 months. The root of the problem is that schools following a six-module system mostly entered their students for two modules in the first year and four in the second. The exam boards were instructed that each module had to maintain its standard. These students therefore had a harder challenge than in any other subject, just at a time when they were pressured to take an extra one. This is not just a problem for schools and the future supply of maths teachers, it is a disaster for one cohort of our pupils. The association remains eager to help find a solution.