A teacher told a conference that GCSE students have complained that they are unable to read clock faces during exams, The Sun reported.
The disclosure at last month’s Partners in Excellence conference is said to have been backed-up by other teachers, with Tory MP Rob Halfon saying the revelation should serve as an “alarm call”.
The Maths National Curriculum states that children aged between five and six should be taught to tell the time to the hour, half past the hour, and be able to draw the hands on a clock.
The unnamed teacher had told delegates: “It’s amazing the number of students I come across in Year 10, 11 and sixth form who do not know how to tell the time.
“They do not necessarily have watches any more and they have mobile phones with the time on.”
We discovered this a few years ago when some couldn’t read the exam room clock
— Cheryl Quine (@MissSequin) March 14, 2018
Cheryl Quine, head of English at Cockermouth School in Cumbria, tweeted: “We discovered a few years ago when some couldn’t read the exam room clock.”
Mr Halfon, who chairs the Commons Education Committee, said: “This should be an alarm call. All children should learn to tell the time traditionally.
“It’s incredibly important. It teaches them numbers, order and how the world works.”
Malcom Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders, told the Daily Telegraph: “The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock as the older generation.
“They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer.
“Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.”
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A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “Schools have a statutory requirement to ensure children can read the time on analogue clock by the end of key stage one.
“The rigorous school curriculum is designed to make sure pupils get an excellent education and have the skills they need to succeed outside of school.”