News that GCSE results have improved for the 24th consecutive year might be seen as a triumph of the education system were it not for the fact that it comes alongside reports that a six year old girl passed GCSE Maths, with a seven year old achieving an A* in the same subject.  It was disappointing to hear Nick Gibb MP today spin his way around the glaringly obvious truth that exams are getting easier at a time when Britain now languishes outside the top 20 in the world for reading and maths.  It is little wonder that the British exam paper is devalued currency:

1964 O Level Maths Paper (No calculator allowed): If a Channel tunnel could be constructed at a cost of £438,000,000 such that every day of the year (365 days) 120 trains could run through it each way, each train carrying on an average 250 tons of freight, calculate the cost per ton which should be charged to give a return of 5 per cent per annum on the cost of construction.

If the rate charged were £5 per ton, calculate how many years would elapse before the freight charges had cleared the construction costs.

2010 GCSE Maths (Higher) Paper: Pam wants to collect information about the total number of hours of homework the students in her class did last week. Design a suitable question she could use to find out this information. (2 marks)

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