TV legend Johnny Ball has accused ministers of dumbing down maths lessons and insists today’s children are two YEARS behind those of previous generations

  • The veteran presenter, 81, blames ‘meddling politicians’ for introducing SATS
  • He believes teachers have to focus on a narrow curriculum with their pupils 
  • The maths whizz was speaking at the start of Maths Week London

By Daily Mail Reporter

Published: 21:06 EDT, 9 June 2019 | Updated: 21:06 EDT, 9 June 2019

Veteran TV presenter Johnny Ball has accused ministers of dumbing down maths lessons by forcing schools to ‘teach to the test’.

Johnny Ball, 81, who hosted shows including Think of a Number and Johnny Ball Reveals All, said the youngsters of today are two years behind those of many decades ago.

And the maths whizz blamed ‘meddling politicians’ for introducing SATs and other tests which have forced teachers to focus on a narrow curriculum.

Veteran TV presenter Johnny Ball, 81, has accused ministers of dumbing down maths by forcing pupils to learn solely for exams

The maths whizz has blamed politicians for forcing teacher to give children a narrow curriculum to pass exams

He was speaking at the start of Maths Week London, a week of activities aimed at making maths accessible and supported by The Mayor’s Fund for London and online learning platform Sumdog.

He said: ‘Maths teachers are tied by what the national curriculum tells them to teach the kids and can’t use their expertise and love of the subject to show how maths can be fun and engaging. They have to teach to the test.

‘Thanks to government policy, primary age children spend hours on times tables and straight numeracy, which are never going to make maths interesting.’

The Department for Education said the maths curriculum it introduced in 2014 ‘was benchmarked against the highest performing countries in the world to make sure children receive the best possible education’.

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