Reform of Mathematical Education in Primary Schools: The Experiment in Barking and Dagenham

Pub. Date
01 July, 1996

The need to raise the vocational skills of the broad cross-section of Britain's workforce - rather than concentrating on the number of university graduates - has formed a principal conclusion of the series of international comparisons of productivity in matched samples of industrial plants carried out by the National Institute during the past fifteen years.(1) Discussion of the precise measures to secure improvements in skills have now risen close to the top of public policy debate, with some recent re-assuring signs of convergence between the main political parties. The country's most important gaps in skills are now recognised as being in technical and vocational qualifications - at the 'craft' or 'intermediate level' - such as the long-established and internationally respected City and Guilds awards at part II, and the hoped-for corresponding Level 3 of the newer, but much-criticised, NVQs.