Commenting on Ofsted’s review
of mathematics education, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“The good news on the overall performance of English pupils in maths is overshadowed by the fact that disadvantaged pupils are much less likely to do well compared to their peers.
“The approaches set out by Ofsted in teaching a maths curriculum are helpful. However, there are systemic issues which must be addressed.
“One of the main problems is the persistent difficulty in recruiting maths teachers.
“Even this year, when overall government targets for recruiting trainee teachers have been achieved for the first time in several years, the number of maths recruits is still well below target.
“This deficit in maths teachers is most likely to be felt in schools in challenging areas where recruitment can be particularly difficult, and this means that these children are consequently less likely to have a specialist teacher on a consistent basis.
“The government must take more action to recruit and retain teachers – and its intention to freeze their pay in September is obviously not going to help.”