Is math compulsory


Competence of the Education Council

The Education Council regulates the use of teaching materials in lessons and can make them compulsory (Section 22, Paragraph 1 of the Volksschulgesetz, of February 7, 2005 [VSG; LS 412.100]). He appoints a teaching material commission. This is responsible for ensuring that suitable, practical teaching materials are available that are geared to the curriculum (Section 22, Paragraph 3 of the VSG).

The Education Council determines the orientation of the cantonal teaching materials system (Section 1 (1) Ordinance on Teaching Materials for Primary Schools of August 20, 2014 [LS 412.14]). It defines quality requirements for teaching materials that are used in lessons (Section 1 (2) of the Ordinance on Teaching Materials). It determines in which subject areas compulsory teaching materials are used (§ 2 Teaching Aids Ordinance). It decides on medium-term planning for the compulsory teaching materials. This includes: a) a catalog of requirements for the teaching material and b) a concept for the development or procurement, introduction, use and replacement of the teaching material (§ 3 Teaching Material Ordinance).

The Education Directorate ensures the participation of the primary school teachers in the creation and procurement of teaching materials. It informs the teachers about the planning in the area of ​​compulsory teaching materials (§ 4 Teaching Aids Ordinance).

Starting position

On March 12, 2007, the Education Council commissioned Lehrmittelverlag Zürich (LMVZ) to develop a new compulsory mathematics textbook for secondary schools (BRB 14/2007, BRB 20/2008 and BRB 05/2009). During the development, the competence and action orientation according to curriculum 21 was taken into account.

The textbook was tested intercantonally in 18 classes and in the city of Zurich in 160 classes (BRB 20/2008 and BRB 05/2009). In addition to the development, the Zurich University of Education (PHZH) carried out a formative evaluation with 230 students from 2009 to 2013. On August 30, 2010, the Education Council made introductory courses to the textbook compulsory (BRB 25/2010). "Mathematics 1" has been in use since the 2011/12 school year, "Mathematics 2" since the 2012/13 school year and "Mathematics 3" since the 2013/14 school year. The textbook is now used in 14 cantons.

In 2017, the «Teachers' Conference of the Elementary School of the Canton of Zurich» (LKV) initiated the assessment of the textbook in accordance with the teaching material policy of the Canton of Zurich (BRB 35/2012 and BRB 30/2014). On March 22, 2017, the LKV delegates' conference decided on proposals for measures. As a result, the LMVZ, with the involvement of the Primary School Authority of Zurich (VSA), developed specific suggestions for adding two additional components to the textbook for regular class teaching:

  • Part of "Mathematik top" for very high-performing pupils for the 1st and 2nd year of secondary school,
  • Component “Mathematik klick” for underperforming pupils with learning gaps for the 1st to 3rd year of secondary school.

On November 28, 2017, the “Cantonal Teaching Aids Commission” (KLK) discussed and approved the LMVZ's proposal for measures. On February 5, 2018, the Education Council commissioned the LMVZ to implement the components “Mathematik top” and “Mathematik klick”, followed by the mandatory declaration of the “Mathematik top” component on October 29, 2018 (BRB 3/2018 and BRB 23/2018) . Since the 2019/20 school year, “Mathematik top” has been in use for the 1st school year of the secondary school, and since the 2020/21 school year for the 2nd school year of the secondary school.

In the decision disposition “Additions to Mathematics 1–3 Secondary Level” of the Education Council it is stated that the Education Council decides on their status one year before the respective publication date of the additions “Mathematik top” and “Mathematik klick” (BRB 3/2018).

The component “Mathematik klick” for the 1st grade of the secondary school is expected to appear in the school year 2021/22, for the 2nd grade of the secondary school in the school year 2022/23 and for the 3rd grade in the secondary school in the school year 2023/24.


For the 1st to 3rd grade of the secondary school, a “click workbook” (one-way) is being developed for the existing compulsory textbook “Mathematics Secondary Level I”. The findings from the VSA project “Active learning time and learning success for ALL” (ALL) are incorporated into the development of “Mathematik klick”.

The tasks of the workbook complement the offer of requirement level III (low) and should thus enable the connection to the basic requirements according to curriculum 21 and to the professional world. They are designed for underperforming students who have fundamental learning gaps and are taught in the regular class. The previous separate “supplementary booklet” is integrated into the respective “workbook click”: on the one hand, the basic mathematical rules are explained directly with the exercises with examples and, on the other hand, they are offered in compact form in the workbook “for reference”.

The “solutions” (reusable) to the exercises in the workbook and the solutions to the worksheets are provided in a separate part of the textbook.

The "manual" (reusable) for the teacher contains a wide range of support information on mathematical topics and learning difficulties. The structure of the competencies is presented for each sub-chapter. A study of the level of learning is offered for each school year. Overviews show the content and time structure in the school year and the connections between the tasks in the respective “workbook click” and the offer of the existing textbook “Mathematics Secondary Level I” of requirement level III (deep) and thus enable the connection to requirement level III and permeability between the skill levels.

On November 28, 2017, the KLK advised and approved the components “Mathematik klick” and “Mathematik top”. On October 27, 2020, the LMVZ submitted the release of the “Mathematics click” component to the KLK for discussion. The cantonal teaching materials commission recommends that the Education Council approve “Mathematics click” on the beginning of the school year 2021/22 as part of the compulsory textbook “Mathematics Secondary Level I” and include it in the “Directory of compulsory and alternative-compulsory teaching materials in the Canton of Zurich”.

The VSA and the LMVZ have commissioned the “Zurich Working Group for Further Education of Teachers” (ZAL) to introduce the teaching material for “Mathematik klick”. The introductory courses are planned from spring 2021 to autumn 2023. Course leaders from different cantons are trained in a management course.


The textbook “Mathematics Secondary Level I” and its component “Mathematics top” have already been declared compulsory by the Education Council (BRB 14/2007 and BRB 3/2018). The “Mathematics click” component complements the existing compulsory textbook for those pupils who have fundamental learning gaps in regular class lessons. It should be used to promote these learners. The use of the “math click” component should be made compulsory for this group of pupils.


At the request of the Education Directorate, the Education Council decides:

  • The “Mathematics click” component of the existing “Mathematics Secondary Level I” textbook is made compulsory for use in regular class lessons for underperforming students.
  • The decision of the education council is published in a suitable form in the school gazette and on the Internet.
  • Communication to: all school attendants; the School and Sports Department of the City of Zurich, SSD; the Department of School and Sport Winterthur, DSS; the Association of Zurich School Boards, VZS; the Association of School Directors of the Canton of Zurich, VSLZH; the Zurich Teachers' Association, ZLV z.H. the tier organizations; the board of the teachers' conference, LKV; the cantonal parent participation organization Zurich, KEO; the Association of Zurich Private Schools, VZP; the professional association of secondary teachers of the Canton of Zurich, SekZH; the Swiss Association of Personnel in Public Services, Zurich Region, Apprenticeships, vpod Zurich Apprenticeships; the Zurich Teachers Association for German as a Second Language, VZL-DaZ; the Association of Kindergarten Zurich, VKZ; the teachers' conference of the vocational schools, LKB; the Zurich Association of Teachers in Vocational Education, ZLB; the Teachers' Conference of Middle Schools, LKM; the Zurich secondary school teachers association, MVZ; the Zurich University of Education, PHZH; the Unterstrass Institute at the PHZH,; the Intercantonal University for Curative Education, HfH; the Intercantonal Teaching Aids Center, ilz; Swiss schools abroad with the patronage of the Canton of Zurich; the education department of the canton of Zurich: educational planning, secondary school and vocational training office, office for youth and career counseling, elementary school office, department for school assessment, Lehrmittelverlag Zürich.