From Jennifer Selway in the Express, A maths problem for us all, a quote:
The thing is I know my times tables. Really know them and am proud to know them. And I mastered them by endless, thoughtless repetition when I was all of five years old.
Which is why it is all wrong that children should have compulsory maths until they are 18 as the Lords select committee on science and technology recommends.
This is addressing the problem of Britain’s maths-phobia from the wrong end. If you don’t know the maths you will need for most of life’s purposes – like avoiding being stiffed for 10 euros – by the time you are 16 then the education system has failed you big time.