Ministers fail to do the maths
The teacher-supply picture is alarming enough. To meet the shortfall we would need to attract into teacher training more than 40 per cent of the annual UK output of maths graduates for years to come. An impossible task.
Professor Smith pulls few punches. The overwhelming majority of teachers, employers and universities no longer regard the maths curriculum and assessment framework for 14 to 19-year-olds as fit for the job. And there is widespread recognition that the new AS and A2 exams have been "a disaster for mathematics".
This is damning. The professor puts forward some good ideas on how these critical issues can begin to be addressed. Had the DfES not scrapped its four-yearly survey to determine the number of qualified secondary subject teachers in 2000 we would have known the true shortfall of maths specialists years ago and could have acted sooner. Nor do we know much about the current crop of graduates taking maths PGCE courses. How many, for example, have a degree in psychology rather than maths? We don't know.
Good policy-making requires good-quality data. Professor Smith is not impressed and nor are we.