Reversing the Spiral of Decline

Dick Evans argues for a career-based curriculum A recent report (Smith 2004) has again highlighted the concerns about the state of mathematics and its teaching in schools. Questions continue to arise about its purpose and centrality in the national curriculum, in addition, concerns are being raised about the quality and quantity of students entering higher education to study courses that require mathematics. We live in a technological society based on maths and science, so it is perplexing that schools, colleges and universities continue to turn out students in large numbers who not only lack adequate numeracy skills but also constantly

Numeracy: The Key Basic Skill?

The responses to the Ofsted and the Adult Learners Inspectorate (ALI) report on basic skills (see issue 18 of Basic Skills Bulletin) reveal a very mixed reception for the progress of the ‘Skills for Life’ (SfL) programme. Many comments in the national press have pointed out that overall progress was limited considering the level of investment since the publication of the Moser report and the implementation of the national strategy. Reading the official Ofsted/ALI report and the comments in the press, it is often difficult to assess the true picture. The government and its various agencies congratulate themselves on the strategies