Education & Family

Education secretary Nicky Morgan dodges school maths teaser

Nicky Morgan quizzed by pupils Image copyright PA
Image caption The education secretary did not want to answer a maths question on air

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been wrong-footed by a 10-year-old interviewer with a secondary school maths question.

She was asked the cube root of 125 by pupil Leon Remphry during a children's newspaper interview on Sky News.

The answer is five, but Ms Morgan said: "I think that's one that I might just have to go away and work out."

"I think politicians who answer maths questions or spelling questions on air normally come a cropper."

Ms Morgan's response comes after Chancellor George Osborne failed to answer a question put by a seven-year-old for the same children's publication, First News.

'Love of books'

In this case, Mr Osborne was tripped up by a multiplication question - 7x8.

Youngsters usually learn about square and cube roots of numbers in the early years of secondary school.

The young interviewer also grilled Ms Morgan on the subject of literacy and ensuring children grew up with a love of books.

He asked how this could happen if libraries continued to close.

Dissatisfied with the education secretary's response, Leon said: "I don't think you've actually answered the question. Are the government going to take steps or are they not?"

Ms Morgan tried again: "We are reminding local councils that it is their duty to provide libraries which are, obviously, where people can borrow books for free which is the critical thing and, as education secretary, I want there to be libraries in schools.

"There's an independent report coming out shortly on how important libraries are."

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