Liz Truss – 2012 Comments on Using Calculators in Exams

The comments made by Liz Truss, the then Education Minister, on 9 November 2012.

Maths influences all spheres of our daily lives, from working out the change from your shopping to an architect’s calculations in designing the latest London skyscraper.

The irony is that while maths is all around us, it seems to have become acceptable to be ‘bad with numbers’. The habit of simply reaching for the calculator to work things out only serves to worsen that problem.

All young children should be confident with methods of addition, subtraction, times tables and division before they pick up the calculator to work out more complex sums. By banning calculators in the maths test, we will reduce the dependency on them in the classroom for the most basic sums. Children will have a solid grounding in the basics so they can grow up to be comfortable with the maths they will need in their adult lives.