Carol Vorderman has hit out at prime minister Rishi Sunak following his proposed plans to make studying Maths until the age of 18 mandatory in Britain.
Earlier this week, during his first speech of 2023, Sunak stated that he wanted to “reimagine” the UK’s “approach to numeracy”, claiming that “data is everywhere and statistics underpin every job”.
However, in an interview on LBC on Thursday, Maths whizz Carol seemed unconvinced.
The former Countdown star – who describes herself as “politically independent” – questioned whether the PM is living in a “parallel universe”.
— LBC (@LBC) January 5, 2023
“People are suffering,” she told presenter Nick Ferrari. “I came from a very poor family – single parent, three kids – I was born in 1960 so I’m aged 62 now, and I was a free school meals kid all my life; I know how hard it is.
“He’s saying ‘Oh, my education was important’. Yes, it was important, you went to Winchester which is like Eton B, it’s a private school.”
Carol continued: “Does he have any conception of what real people are having to go through and the lack of opportunities for children?
“And the only way we can change this country is when children particularly are given equal opportunity. I am deeply passionate about it.”
Reflecting on the Prime Minister’s proposed scheme, Vorders stated her belief that “the system is not working for that”.
LONDON, ENGLAND, JANUARY 04: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during his first major domestic speech of the year at Plexal, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on January 4, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Instead, she offered up the idea that the syllabus switch more complicated Maths to focus more on “practical” skills.
“Let’s just take a practical view and come up with something you don’t teach to the test, you can do it online, re-do it online, where you have a little video lesson and then you have a little test after so it’s like micro-tests every day,” she suggested.
“You don’t need to teach to an exam all the time because, sadly, teachers and schools have to keep doing this.
“They spend whole terms teaching how to answer a particular question which is set by an educationist, rather than the practicality about mortgages, about your salary, about tax, about all of those practical things that will help these kids as they get older.”
Carol was previously asked by the Conservative party to lead a review into the teaching of Maths in schools back in 2009.
The former Loose Women anchor told LBC that she will not work with Sunak unless he provides more information on his tax returns and the so-called VIP lane over personal protective equipment (PPE).
Sunak’s speech on Wednesday was met with a lukewarm response at the time, with many of his critics online pointing out that he had left out many pressing issues facing the country right now – most notably the state of the health service.