As the Tory leader David Cameron launched a task force headed by Carol Vorderman there was a renewed scrutiny of mathematics in education. Of course, the prevailing wisdom is that things go from bad to worse. But have the British always been bad at doing their sums? Professor Celia Hoyles is professor of mathematics education at the Institute of Education in London - she is also the Chair of the National Centre for the Excellence in Teaching Mathematics. How does she rate the numeracy of children past and present?
Listen to her interviewed on the BBC (Radio 4, Leading Edge, February 5, 2009):