Humiliation as expert chosen to promote Rishi Sunak’s ‘Maths to 18’ plan openly criticises it
‘Somebody didn’t do their homework’
An expert picked to praise Rishi Sunak’s ‘Maths to 18’ has criticised the plans causing humiliation for the Prime Minister.
Expert Stephen Follows was hand-picked by Number 10 to support Mr Sunak’s plan to make pupils study maths until the age of 18.
It wanted to showcase the film data analyst as an example of how maths knowledge can lead to a successful career.
Follows was contacted by Downing Street officials on Friday, three days before the plan was launched, but they failed to ask whether he agreed with the Prime Minister’s proposed idea.
Follows took up on the offer and, in a blow for Mr Sunak, he used the opportunity to his advantage. Writing in The Times he said: “Somebody didn’t do their homework. And nobody thought to ask me whether I support this policy.
“I’m delighted to have this platform to share my views because I think their one-size-fits-all policy is misguided, tone deaf to the actual needs of students and may even be counterproductive.”
The government had already designed ads to promote the campaign with Top Trumps card style posters using ands image Mr Follows with the tagline: “Cool jobs you didn’t know you needed maths for.”
But that has since been swiftly ditched as his criticisms of the plan came to light. Follows continued: “Financial literacy, emotional intelligence, compassion and the ability to build healthy relationships are just a few areas where our current education system falls short.
“To prioritise maths over these skills is short-sighted, out of touch and grossly unfair on students.
“Forcing students to study maths until the age of 18 risks stifling the passions and interests of individual students, the very qualities that education should be cultivating.
“Instead of imposing a blanket requirement that many will resent, schools should focus on helping students discover who they are and then provide the necessary support and resources for them to become the best version of that person.
“This approach would be far more effective than imposing an outdated notion that ‘more maths equals good’ across the board.”
And in a further blow, he added: “Instead of rushing to finish their homework just before the deadline, the policy makers at No. 10 should apply themselves to understanding the diverse educational needs of students and to researching and developing strategies that encourage individual growth and empower our young people to reach their full potential.”
Launching his plan yesterday, Mr Sunak said he wanted to end the ‘anti-maths mindset’ in this country.
He said: “I won’t sit back and allow this cultural sense that it’s OK to be bad at maths to put our children at a disadvantage.”
But the PM also admitted that England doesn’t currently have enough maths teachers to deliver the policy, which he said would not be delivered ‘overnight’.
Boy, 11, left in critical condition after being hit by police van
Awful news this morning
A boy has been left in critical condition in hospital following an incident with a police van last night.
The 11-year-old was struck by a police van in Lancaster on Thursday night, May 25th, as the van was attending a call.
Lancashire Police say the vehicle was en route to an emergency call when the collision happened.
The boy was crossing Owen Road just before 8:30 pm when he was hit, and was transported to Royal Lancaster Infirmary in a critical condition.
A police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the child’s loved ones at this time.
“An investigation is underway to establish the full circumstances that led to the collision.
“We have voluntarily referred this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as is standard with an incident of this nature.”
The IOPC said in a statement: “We have declared an independent investigation into the actions of Lancashire Police prior to a road traffic collision in Owen Road, Lancaster at around 8.30pm tonight, in which a child has been injured.
“We understand that a marked police van, with its lights and sirens on, was in a collision with an 11-year-old boy.
“We were notified by the force shortly after the collision and declared an investigation at 10.37pm. IOPC investigators are heading to the scene and the police post incident procedure to begin gathering information.”
According to the IOPC, the investigation is in its early stages.
Sam Smith cancels upcoming shows due to ‘vocal cord injury’ and tells fans ‘I’m so sorry’
‘Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow’
Sam Smith has cancelled their upcoming shows due to a vocal cord injury and issued a statement telling fans, ‘I’m so sorry’.
The singer had to call off their Gloria Tour show, mid-way through, at Manchester AO Arena last night (Wednesday May 24th) after experiencing ‘vocal issues’.
The lights went off and fans waited in darkness for a number of minutes as speculation circulated on social media, with many wondering if there had been a ‘power cut’.
Moments later, after just four songs, a packed-out arena was told the show unfortunately had to be called off.
Afterwards, Sam, 31, issued a statement on their Instagram stories to tell fans — who had missed out on a ‘surprise’ that was supposed to be at the end of the show — how ‘sorry’ they were.
Today, Thursday May 25th, the ‘Unholy’ singer has issued another statement after calling off upcoming gigs.
On their Instagram stories, the star wrote: “Due to vocal issues during last night’s Manchester performance, regrettably we will be cancelling the rescheduled Birmingham and Glasgow Sam Smith shows.
“Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
“A spokesperson said ‘Doctors have advised due to a vocal cord injury, Sam must have complete vocal rest’.
“Sam is heartbroken to have had to cancel these shows but they have been told by doctors that if they keep singing, they will do permanent damage to their voice.
“If they take some rest they will be able to perform again. I’m so sorry.”
Sam already had to push back the Birmingham and Glasgow gigs after suffering from a virus several weeks ago.
After calling off last night’s show at Manchester’s AO Arena, Sam wrote on their Instagram story: “Today in soundcheck I felt fine and was so excited to give Manchester an amazing show tonight, with a special surprise at the end.
“During my third song, I noticed something wrong with my voice. I prayed it was just my voice waking up for the show but into the fourth song I could feel something was really wrong.”
The pop singer added: “I came off stage and have tried everything to get my voice back in gear but it won’t.
“I am honestly heartbroken I couldn’t finish the show tonight for you all. I love you all. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.”
Body found in river in search for missing 24-year-old woman
Shannon’s family have been informed
A body has been found in a river in the search for a missing woman from Lancashire.
Police searching for Shannon Canning from Lancaster say they have found a body. The 24-year-old had been missing from home since the early hours of Friday May 19th.
A search operation was launched to find the young woman who did not turn up for work at Tipple bar on Friday afternoon.
Public appeals for help were launched by her family and the police force, who said they were concerned for her welfare as the disappearance was out of character.
Lancashire Police have confirmed the body of a woman was found in the River Lune near Halton on Wednesday afternoon, May 24th. Shannon’s family has been informed.
Patrols were increased during the week and specialist divers joined the search yesterday. Officers were called at around 4.20pm Wednesday afternoon when the discovery was made.
A statement from Lancashire Police said: “Sadly, officers searching for missing Shannon Canning have an update, following a body recovered from the River Lune.
“We can confirm that we were called today (May 24th) at around 4:20pm to a report that a body had been found in the River Lune, near Halton.
“Specialist search teams have subsequently attended the area and can sadly confirm that the body of a woman has been recovered.
“Although formal identification has yet to take place, we believe the body to be that of missing Shannon Canning.
“Shannon’s family have been made aware of this sad development and our thoughts are with them at this upsetting time.”