Platonic phrase was not ideal

22nd August 2003 at 01:00
Not to take issue with your excellent coverage of Professor Adrian Smith's inquiry into mathematics teaching ("Maths for the real world", TES, August 8) but the sign above Plato's academy did not read "Let no one ignorant of mathematics enter here" but Ouedis ageometretos eisto!: "Let no one ignorant of geometry enter" or, glossed, "If you can't measure or use the numbers involved in measuring, then you're no use to us". Metaphorically, there's a similar sign above the gate of every workplace in the UK.

With the exception of mathematics, every subject we teach aims for inclusion. Practical numeracy skills are essential to individuals and employers. Perhaps, at last, they will be taught and accredited according to their true value.

Pete Keeffe

Chartered mathematician

18 Smith Hill, Rochdale

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