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Schools (Metric Units)

Volume 839: debated on Monday 26 June 1972

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many of the questions on the mathematics and science ordinary and higher level examination papers in 1971 made reference to imperial and metric units, respectively;

  • (2) if it is the general practice for teaching to be given in primary schools in imperial units; and if he will make a statement;
  • (3) if he will make a statement on the progress made in the use of metric units in school education.
  • Detailed advice prepared by the Consultative Committee on the Curriculum on the implications of metrication was issued to schools in 1968. This advice recognised the need to revise syllabuses, gradually phasing out the use of imperial weights and measures.In primary schools the transition is going smoothly. However, so long as the imperial system is in general use, children must still become familiar with the most common imperial units, while learning the basic skills of computation in metric terms.At the secondary level steady progress is being made towards complete metrication. Metric units are used almost exclusively in mathematics and science subjects and the changeover will be effected in technical education in 1973. In many other subjects the use of metric units is being progressively increased to accord with their general adoption in related fields.I have asked the Scottish Certificate of Education Examinations Board to send to my hon. Friend the particular information he requires on the 1971 examination in mathematics and science