HC Deb 19 June 1958 vol 589 c1286
5. Mr. M. Stewart

asked the Minister of Education what consideration he has given to the report, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Fulham, on the mathematical ability of certain students at a teachers' training college; and whether he will make a statement.

Sir E. Boyle

This useful report underlines in a striking way the need for better work in mathematics in both training colleges and schools.

Mr. Stewart

Was the right hon. Gentleman able to form any opinion on whether the results shown in this report were exceptionally below average, or are they likely to be typical? If they are typical, is this not rather serious?

Sir E. Boyle

The position of mathematics teaching in the country is definitely serious at present. It is fair to say that the shortage of first-class equipped mathematics teachers is one of the most striking problems of our schools at the moment. As the hon. Member probably knows, training colleges have been asked to give priority to the admission of candidates able and willing to make mathematics their main subject, and the importance of some work in mathematics for pretty well all students has been emphasised recently in pamphlets and by H.M. Inspectors and the National Advisory Council. I assure the hon. Member that we are taking this matter seriously.