Norfolk rated among worse in country for maths

RESULTS out this week for Key Stage 2 tests have revealed that the county of Norfolk is among the seven worst in the country for results in English and Maths.

Norfolk has come joint 146th out of 152 local authorities for the results of 11-year-olds in maths and English.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has been pressing the Government on the maths curriculum, calling for the removal of the calculator tests with a renewed focus on mental arithmetic and mathematical fluency.

Elizabeth last month held a calculator debate in the House of Commons. The UK is currently 28th for maths according to the OECD’s 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), below many countries where calculators are less frequently used in schools.

For example, Singapore has virtually no calculator use for ten-year-olds and placed second in international tables (There are no comparable numbers for top performing Shanghai China).

Elizabeth put the case that the use of calculators too early is meaning that British students are not becoming fluent in basic mathematics. This is causing problems for maths capabilities at high school and beyond.

Elizabeth said after reading the results: “We need all pupils to have to the opportunity to do really well in primary school, which is so important for their futures and I am disappointed that Norfolk has not fared better. When the Education Secretary visited in November, I called for the Teach First programme to be available in Norfolk to get more maths specialists at Primary. I have also persuaded the Government to remove calculator tests at 11 to ensure children are focusing on mental arithmetic and mathematical fluency.”