MPs report on “disgraceful” number of primary school leavers with poor maths skills

May 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm 1 comment

The Public Accounts Committee has produced a report into mathematics performance in maintained primary schools in England.

It found that 5% of 11-year olds (30,000 in 2008) leave primary school with mathematical skills that are, at best, at the level of those expected of a seven year old.

The committee said it was “too early” to assess the impact of the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ “mathematics recovery programmes.”

It said the ten year programme to train 13,000 specialist mathematics teachers will result in some primary schools not benefiting until 2019.

“The difficulties that some schools are already experiencing in recruiting enough specialist tutors are disturbing.”

The MPs said:

“It is disgraceful that or one-fifth of pupils are still leaving primary school without a secure grasp of essential mathematical skills, and that, as a result, only one in ten of these children are likely to attain the expected standard by age 16.

“Nationally, there is a large and persistent gap in mathematics attainment between primary school pupils who receive free school meals and those who do not.

“In 2008, the gap was 18%. This cannot be allowed to continue and the Department must address the gap urgently.

“It is very disappointing that in 2007, 24% of pupils made progress of just one national curriculum level or less.

“These included 66,000 relatively able pupils and, within that number, nearly 38,000 who had been among the most able at Key Stage 1.

“The Department and local authorities should raise the expectations on schools where a greater than average number of pupils are not making at least two levels of progress between the ages of seven and 11.”

The committee reported that maths is the only core subject where boys are doing better than girls, and the gap is growing.

Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, said:

“The DCSF’s national strategy has helped to improve primary mathematics teaching and learning.

“But, despite the £2.3 billion spent each year on teaching maths in primary schools, improvements in attainment have recently levelled off.

“Social class of children at primary schools is too great a factor. There is a clear link between deprivation and underachievement in primary maths.

“This requires urgent action by the DCSF, including encouraging those local authorities that are more successful than others in narrowing the maths attainment gap in deprived areas to spread good practices.

“The Department’s ten year programme to train 13,000 specialist maths teachers will not benefit some primary schools for another decade.

“That’s far too long; the Department needs to look for ways to accelerate the programme.”

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Committees, Commons. Tags: , , , , , .

MPs name and shame cheap cider and defend bingo halls Yvette Cooper accuses Tories of “80s revivalism gone rampant”

1 Comment Add your own

  • […] MPs report on disgraceful number of primary school leavers with … Found News: MPs report on disgraceful number of primary school leavers with …The DCSF’s national strategy has helped to improve primary mathematics teaching and learning. But, despite the £2.3 billion spent each year on teaching maths in primary schools, improvements in attainment have recently levelled off. …Read the full story […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow us on Twitter!

May 2009
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

%d bloggers like this: