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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
UK adults fail child's maths test
Maths text book
The survey suggests basic numeracy skills are on the decline
One in 14 adults cannot answer a maths question aimed at eight-year-old children, a survey suggests.

The poll of 2,000 adults for ITV DVD found that more people aged 18 to 25 were unable to answer the question than those aged 55 or older.

The question was: What is one eighth of 32? The options given were a) 6 b) 4 c) 2 d) 8 e) None of these f) Don't know. The correct answer is b) 4.

The government has just announced an inquiry into the way maths is taught.

The announcement follows concerns that too many school leavers are unable to add up.

The survey found that basic numeracy skills were on the decline, with 96% of those aged over 55 able to answer the question taken from an eight-year-old's maths paper - compared with 88% of those aged 18-25.

The research was undertaken by ITV DVD to mark the DVD release of pre-school television programme Numberjacks: Calling All Agents!, which encourages children to develop key numerical skills.

The survey also suggested that parents were starting to realise the extent to which pre-school learning helps later in life.

It found that 74% of adults believed watching educational programmes as a young child helped learning.




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