Numeracy 'not without cost'

6th October 2000 at 01:00
HEADTEACHERS have welcomed the National Numeracy Strategy, despite reservations over workload and the impact it has had on other subjects.

A survey by the National Association of Head Teachers suggests all schools have added a daily maths lesson to the timetable in addition to the literacy hour. However, more than 80 per cent of schools report they are spending far less time on the humanities, art and physical education.

According to David Hart, the union's general secretary, primary schools are no longer providing a balanced curriculum. "The strategy has been a success, but not without cost. Workload has been excessive. A broad curriculum has gone out of the window. Government needs to remedy these defects urgently if the gains in standards made by the strategy are to continue, he says.

Maths scores for 11-year-olds have gone up 13 percentage points over the past two years. The numeracy strategy was fully introduced last year, but many schools began using the materials 12 months ahead of schedule.

The survey confirms that teachers believe children enjoy maths more and the strategy has improved their own maths skills. Schools are introducing more setting and streaming for the maths lesson.

However, the combination of the English and maths strategy has led to much more work. Teachers say they are exhausted, stressed and under considerable pressure.

Almost a quarter of the 1,432 teachers in the survey reported that the strategy had had a negative impact on morale. The survey was carried out last term.

Maths for arts students, 11


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now