Are you a maths whizz – or at least able to solve the same equations as your 10-year-old child?
Some parents who excelled at maths as pupils are now finding themselves stumped as they attempt to work out the answers to their children’s maths homework.
Adults began sharing maths problems on Twitter this week after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that maths should be compulsory up to the age of 18, a move that union leaders warned could result in more teacher strikes.
So, as Mr Sunak sets out his vision for Britain, MailOnline is asking you… can you solve the types of questions your child will tackle on their SATs exam?
In his first major speech as PM yesterday afternoon, Mr Sunak promised to equip children for the ‘jobs of the future’ by combating high rates of innumeracy in the UK.
Young people will be forced to take ‘some form’ of maths delivered either through new courses or existing qualifications such as A-levels, T-levels and Core Maths.
For most the drive is likely to involve practical skills rather than algebra.
Around eight million adults in England have numeracy skills expected of primary school children, according to Government figures.
Currently only around half of 16 to 19 year-olds study maths in some form. The problem is particularly acute for disadvantaged pupils, 60 per cent of whom do not have basic maths skills at age 16.
But union leaders are warning that teachers are now more likely to strike after backlash to Mr Sunak’s maths pledge.
Kevin Courtney, who oversees more than 300,000 educators as joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), accused Sunak of a ‘baffling failure’ to notice the obstacles facing the industry.
Young people will be forced to take ‘some form’ of maths delivered either through new courses or existing qualifications such as A-levels, T-levels and Core Maths. For most the drive is likely to involve practical skills rather than algebra
‘Sunak’s plan is disappointing not only in its lack of realism but its lack of vision’, Mr Courtney said.
‘It overlooks the increasingly detailed and urgent discussions about curriculum reform that have been taking place across the education sector and even within his own party.
‘Most people who voted will have voted. But I think there will be a few people who will look at this and think ‘is that all they’ve got to say about education?’
‘It doesn’t sound like they’re taking the problem of the teacher recruitment crisis seriously because they’ve missed their maths teacher recruitment targets every year for the last 11 years.’
Teachers, who are currently balloting, say the plan fails to tackle the recruitment crisis currently gripping the sector.
More than 500,000 teachers across three unions are considering possible strike action in England and Wales, with deadlines for votes from January 9.
Unions have urged staff to vote as soon as possible amid fears that postal chaos may delay the return of ballots.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured lats month) declared yesterday that maths should be compulsory up to the age of 18
More than 500,000 teachers across three unions are considering possible strike action in England and Wales, with deadlines for votes from January 9
Meantime, opposition parties have dismissed the initiative as ’empty’ – while Tories urged Mr Sunak to focus on tackling illegal immigration instead.
Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said the Prime Minister ‘needs to show his working’, as ‘he cannot deliver this reheated, empty pledge without more maths teachers’.
She added: ‘Yet the Government has missed their target for new maths teachers year after year, with existing teachers leaving in their droves.’
A Labour source said: ‘In their desperation to ensure Sunak’s speech doesn’t happen after Keir’s, No 10 have revealed they have nothing to offer the country except… double maths.
‘As the health service falls to pieces after 12 years of Tory rule, criminals terrorise the streets, and working people worry how their wages will last the month, the country is entitled to ask: is this it?’
Former Cabinet minister John Redwood tweeted: ‘As the Prime Minister turns his attention to maths teaching he should not forget his choice as most pressing priority was to stop illegal migration.
‘Parliament needs to legislate urgently on small boats and public services.’
Nigel Farage also waded in, saying: ‘So Rishi Sunak’s big idea to save the nation is maths until the age of 18! How will quadratic equations help to solve broken Britain?’
WHAT ARE THE ANSWERS?
- 49 999
- 2 or 4
- 3/5 8/15 11/20
- The answer is e. Work out by taking the answer, 14, and reversing the steps described. Subtraction becomes addition (14 + 6 = 20), doubling becomes halving (half of 20 is 10), and you end up with a starting number of 10.
- The answer is b. The chart does not have a bar for ‘zero DVDs’ so you have to work it out by adding up the total number of pupils represented by the bars that are shown and taking this away from the total number of pupils in the class (30). 3 pupils own 1-10 DVDs, 4 pupils own 11-20, 6 own 21-30, 7 own 31-40, 5 own 41-50, 2 own 51-60, and 1 owns 71-80 DVDs. Add up 3 + 4 + 6 + 7 + 5 + 2 + 1 = 28, which is two less than the total class of the 20 pupils, so the correct answer is 2.