The Secretary of State’s decision to initiate discussions on a National Curriculum for mathematics followed from the debate started by the Cockcroft report some seven years earlier and contributed to by subsequent Her Majesty’s Inspectorate papers. The National Curriculum for mathematics is statutorily defined in orders published by the Department of Education and Science. Much of what pupils are expected to experience through Ma1 is not easily instigated and developed through the written word. Pupils can be exhorted by the text to discuss a problem, to work in a team or to develop their own line of enquiry but only a teacher can systematically monitor, develop and extend such discussions. A distinction must also be made between the mathematics education of pupils which recognize the many cultural influences which shaped the discipline and educating pupils, through using mathematics, to enable them to take their place within a society which is multicultural.