Carol Vorderman to lead Tory maths probe

Former "Countdown" presenter Carol Vorderman in a file photo. REUTERS/Ian Hodgson

LONDON (Reuters) - Former “Countdown” presenter Carol Vorderman is to lead an inquiry into the teaching of maths for the Conservative Party.

The 48-year-old Cambridge graduate, who quit Channel 4’s words and numbers quiz programme in December, said British children had fallen down international rankings of maths learning.

Vorderman, who backed a government maths initiative last June, said she was not a member of any political party and had taken on the role to “give something back.”

“Having left ‘Countdown’ I wanted to do something that was substantial and meaningful and important to me, and hopefully to other people as well,” she told BBC television on Monday.

Conservative leader David Cameron has asked Vorderman to look at maths methods that children use at school, to compare them with methods taught abroad and to examine whether tests have got easier, a party spokesman said.

Schools Minister Jim Knight said the government was already implementing the recommendations of a review by academic Peter Williams published last summer which included having a specialist maths teacher in every primary school.

“The picture in maths is a positive one,” he said.

Reporting by Tim Castle; editing by Peter Griffiths