Carol Vorderman has got it sooooooo wrong.



Being Edinburgh at this time of year is exhilarating. The bringing together of thousands of creative people from all over the globe. Writers, musicians, comedians, actors, dancers, jugglers, clowns, illusionists, great orators, producers, directors, publicity gurus, agents.  As the month progresses the annual TV Festival kicks off and within those numbers the bosses of the most creative companies on the planet. Being lucky enough to live in this environment is something of a privilege as the atmosphere  is electric, fun and stimulating no matter where you go. On top of this millions of people  arrive here every year to witness and be part of a little of this magic. From dawn til dawn there is something to do and something to see. Someone to engage with and a stimulating idea or sight to inspire.

SO I wonder Carol Vorderman how many of them studied maths until  they were 18? How many of them comprehend the finer points of trigonometry? How many of them do a good line in sines and cosines?  Lying in bed face down listening to the radio this morning I was incensed to hear that Carol Vorderman has decreed – and on behalf of the Tory party – that all children in England (not Scotland but that maybe an editorial slip up rather than her intended meaning )should be taught maths until they are 18. And that a large percentage of those who attain a C in GCSE can’t do fractions or percentages.

It is 2011 and this sort of inverted snobbery has to stop. The human brain is not a machine. Some people get maths. Some people don’t. OK there is an argument which criticises the method of teaching but in actual fact maths to some people, and yes I am one, is gobbledy gook, incomprehensible waffle, a bleedin’ mystery, and a virtual impossibility to grasp.

I sat my maths O level twice. And failed. I had no idea what it was about. I still don’t. The second time I had a tutor. I fared no better. I believed for years this meant I was thick. It certainly meant I wasn’t going to university in the 1980’s. Maths was compulsory.  On reflection it has been the making of me. The route I chose in life is as far from exacting mathematical calculation as is possible to imagine.  There will be students who have just had their results this year and have failed. So? It is one element of a huge curriculum and skill set. A sense of proportion would be the best thing to promote here. OK so you can’t do maths? So what? Let’s see what you can do.

It took me  along time to realise I am far from stupid and it was exactly this subject and narrow minded horse manure that was the culprit.

Vorderman – you may have detected this – has got right up my nose. Ignore her. If you can’t do maths?  You are still you. Still great and the best news of all – you will never been an accountant!  Whoopee.

Author: AlisonsDiary

Writer & broadcaster.

  • As you can see from other comments lots of people agree. I am still stunned that maths can prevent people going to university – it is just wrong. I am sure she will end up taking a path that she will enjoy even more – I did – so tell her to rise above it. Cheers.

  • As you can see from other comments lots of people agree. I am still stunned that maths can prevent people going to university – it is just wrong. I am sure she will end up taking a path that she will enjoy even more – I did – so tell her to rise above it. Cheers.

  • Grapesoda

    Thank you. I agree with your comments and shall forward this article to her as she has tried many tomes to pass maths and is bewildered by this as it has held her back from going to Uni.

  • Deep breaths. There. Better?

  • Ed

    That’s me told….

  • Jane

    I will call you superficial  Ed, but hey you are a man so goes with the territory!I have always thought that C V was a total pain in the A**

  • Ed

    Call me a superficial and shallow male, but as La Vorders is now firmly (pun intended) enthroned as Rear of the Year 2011, I reckon her every edict should be enshrined in law…

  • Elaine

    Call me a cynical old cow, but doesn’t Ms Vorderman have a website for maths tutorials?

  • Jane

    Completetly agree A, got my maths o level second attempt, was the hardest thing I ever did. Pressure I didnt need at 17.

  • Fair point. However I am quite logical and creative but give me an e=Mc2 and my head hurts.
    Compulsory til their standard/GCSE level then optional I say but I do respect your opinion too.

  • thehappyhippy

    Maths is not (or should not be) just about doing equations.  It is about looking at problems and solving them.  It is about blending logic and creativity.  I’m not saying it is taught correctly.  I’m saying I particularly enjoyed the subject at school.  But if the curriculum were to be overhauled, I’d fully support compulsory Maths.

  • Maths, Smaths. Carol Vorderman has built her career standing on the set of a game show doing sums. Hardly an example to the wider world. Real entreprenuerial spirit is what it’s all about and had she said something along those lines I would be sent her a tenner. As it is – well she’s not coming round here for a baked potato.

  • It’s true though. Especially nowadays. Life skills are far more important eg how to get on with people, communicate well and engage with everyone no matter where they come from or what they do AND you don’t need bloomin’ maths for that! Also ranting…..

  • Yes political aspiriations would not surprise me.

  • Addiej

    I always struggled with maths I have never been able to understand it even to this day (I am almost 40) my 15 year old son is average but my 14 year old son appears to be a maths whizz he just looks at equations and solves them immediately, I’m just waiting to see how my 8 year old daughter turns out. I think you either get maths or you don’t, I now understand I’m not thick I have managed to start up and run my own business for the past 7 years and I think Carol should just back off and stop putting pressure on the people who just don’t get it.

  • Lorrie20

    agree agree agree ! as a mother of a child who is about to start “high school ” it is  the last thing I want to have to hear . So much time is wasted teaching compulsory subjects and topics where on earth are the general population going to use the mathematics equations in general life ?  Household maths / arithmetic is more than enough leave the classes free for those who actually want to broaden their knowledge of maths ……… oh Alison now I’m on a “Mrs Incensed ” rant before 9 in the morning ! 

  • Keith Garden

    Also, she is one of the ‘trusted’ faces on Sky selling coffins, financial packages etc to the old and vulnerable.
    I shouldn’t be surprised; but Parkinson, you should be ashamed of yourself,
    What is her mandate anyway. Is she running the country while Cameron, His Deputy and his right hand man are all on their hols