Advanced maths irrelevant to life

27th August 2004 at 01:00
Margaret Brown is right that mathematical ideas are important for everyday living and for many degree courses ( "Do we let teens drop maths?" TES, August 13). But this is not an argument for making maths compulsory up to the age of 18.

The average person learns most of the maths they will ever need by the end of primary school. All they require at secondary level are short modules, including revision modules, according to individual needs.

In higher education, students in the subjects she cites certainly need to be able to use and interpret statistics but most universities put on appropriate courses for students who need them. A great deal of the maths done at school is not in any case relevant to these subjects.

Professor John Quicke

22 Dalewood Road, Sheffield

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