As Rishi Sunak has now decided that extra Maths teaching up to 18 is the “silver bullet” to solve all the UK’s problems of low productivity, in search of a more positive attitude towards numeracy, here are a few questions for him
- If the 11% decrease in the number of teacher training applications in 2023 continues at the same rate, estimate how many years it will be before there are no applications at all; and what year will that be? Answer: Roughly 10 and we will be at zero applications by 2033.
- If teachers had a 13% real-terms drop in pay between 2010 and 2022, while average earnings across the economy have gone up 2% in real terms over the same period, and your pay offers for teachers remain well below the rate of inflation in 2023; how is this going to reverse the trend in question 1? Answer. it isn’t.
- If 12% of Maths classes in Secondary Schools are being taught by a teacher without a Maths degree, and almost half of Secondary schools are using non specialist teachers for Maths classes, and 13% of new Maths teachers quit within 5 years, but you want all students to take additional Maths classes through to age 18; how does all this add up? Answer. it doesn’t.
If the Trans Pacific partnership benefits the UK economy by 0.8% but the negative impact of Brexit is 4%
- What is the effect of doing both? Show your working. Answer. -4 + 0.08 = -3.92%.
- Express your answer showing how many trade deals on the scale of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be needed to make up for the impact of Brexit. Answer: 4/0.08 = 50.
If the UK spends $1020 per head on its armed forces, while Germany spends $674, Russia spends $455 and China spends $204 per head
- How much greater is the burden of military spending for a UK citizen over a German citizen? Show your working. Answer 1020/674 = 1.5 times.
- How much greater is the burden of military spending for a UK citizen over a Russian citizen? Answer 1020/455 = 2.24 times
- How much greater is the burden of military spending for a UK citizen over a Chinese citizen? Answer 1020/204 = 5 times
If the IPCC states that the number of new fossil fuel projects that can be explored or licenced if we are to prevent climate tipping points is 0,
- What is the number of new fossil fuel projects the UK government should be allowed to licence for exploration Answer: 0
- Applied Maths: explain the discrepancy between the 0 and the number that you are licencing and quantify what you think the impact of that will be. Answer: It won’t be good…