The Telegraph have printed an open letter to Michael Gove and Vince Cable summarising its six month numeracy campaign, Make Britain Count. This says that the campaign has “highlighted the crisis we face as a nation in maths education” and call on the Secretaries of State to commit resources, adjust policy and campaign to address the issue.
A wide range of experts and concerned organisations working in education, training and industry have lined up to add their voices to our central contention that underperformance in maths up to 16, and avoidance of it thereafter, have left us with a critical skills gap when it comes to filling the job vacancies that exist right now for the numerate.
The letter gives eight points that the Telegraph feels need to be addressed and promises to return to the issue at the start of the new school year.
Incredibly, the article is presented with a photograph of a blackboard showing incorrect calculations of the four times table1. $10 \times 4 = 38$, does it? Perhaps that only serves to highlight the problem further.
- from $8 \times 4$ onwards. The error, which occurs twice, seems to involve adding $4$ to $28$ and $38$ to get $30$ and $40$, respectively, although the move from $8$ to $12$ is done correctly. [↩]