"Who wrote this?" is the polite version of the question I muttered to myself many times as I read through the draft primary national curriculum programme of study for maths, made public in June. The Department for Education's response to this question is: "We have published a list of those we consulted." Fine, but who wrote it?
The many inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the document, not to mention its grammatical and structural shortcomings, lead me to believe that it was not written by people at the DfE.
Many items from the present programmes of study have been moved forward so that children will meet them at a younger age. This seems to fit very nicely with Michael Gove's simplistic approach to raising standards. So perhaps the writer is someone close to Gove who is making a crude attempt to support our venerable education secretary in his much-vaunted crusade.
Since June, many knowledgeable people from all parts of the maths education community have made detailed suggestions as to how the proposed programmes of study should be amended. Their comments, many of which can be read on the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education website, are so far-reaching that it is difficult to find any part of the document that is considered completely satisfactory.
I may never know who wrote this document, but I do know that it is not a suitable place from which to start. After all, if you want to construct a Rolls-Royce you do not build it on the frame of an Only Fools and Horses three-wheeler.
Roy Grice, St Helens, Merseyside.