Government policies at increasing numeracy in the Nation’s schoolchildren has led to a shortage of integers early in the new academic year. ‘Teachers are pouring numbers out onto the white boards, smart screens and worksheets like there’s no tomorrow,’ complained one supplier of ‘integers, fractions and other random numbers’ to the Department for Education.
The problem is widespread and expected to impact on English tuition soon. ‘It’s alright for the maths fraternity – run out of low value numbers – just use bigger ones,’ said an English teacher today. ‘What are we supposed to do – add more letters to the alphabet?’ he asked, pointing out that during the last letter shortage, during Michael Gove’s tenure as minister, ‘we decided to start using Greek letters as substitutes, but the bloody maths department had started using them too,’ he complained.