Letter : It's not what you know...

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The Independent Online
Sir: I read of the dispute about the timescale for amending the A-level maths core content with disbelief ("Maths experts reveal divisions over curriculum", 27 September).

Firstly, having participated in many syllabus revisions during 30 years' teaching, I have never known one which did not need a period of reflection to reveal missed inter-relations. Have no such lessons been learnt from the national curriculum?

Secondly, the new course has only just had its first students through to A-level - but some decisions on changes are going to be made on the basis of poor performance by university students who followed the old syllabuses and pre-national curriculum. Where is the wisdom in that?

We regularly clocked up 70 hours per week as we developed the new school course, and are just feeling that we have got the measure of the new exam's demand. The thought of further changes is daunting and could well lead to a further depletion in the number of experienced maths teachers in schools.

MARGARET E. POSTON

London N12

The writer is head of maths at a north London grammar school.

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