Inspectors concerned at calculator use in schools

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The Independent Online
SCHOOL PUPILS in England and Scotland use calculators far more than those in other countries, according to figures released by school inspectors yesterday, writes Judith Judd. .

Out of 14 countries, including the United States, France and Russia, Scotland is the most enthusiastic about calculators, followed by England.

Traditionalists argue that increasing use contributes to Britain's mediocre showing in international league tables for maths.

Yesterday's table, released by inspectors at the Office for Standards in Education, shows that 95 per cent of Scottish primary schools, and 63 per cent of secondary schools, permit and provide calculators. In England the figures are 87 per cent and 50 per cent.

In Korea, which scores highly in comparisons of performance in maths, calculators are not used in primary or secondary schools.

In a report on maths and science teaching the inspectors say that calculators were not overused in schools, but 'teaching of their proper use is not covered sufficiently'.