Education minister and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss is to visit Shanghai to discover why children there are the best in the world at maths.
Ms Truss is leading a delegation of education experts in the fact-finding mission to gather tips to raise standards in our schools.
England’s 15-year-olds have been ranked 26th in international performance tables for maths while China’s teenagers are top.
Ms Truss said: “Shanghai is the top-performing part of the world for maths – their children are streets ahead. Shanghai and Singapore have teaching practices and a positive philosophy that make the difference.
“They have a belief that diligence redeems lack of ability.
“Our new curriculum has borrowed from theirs because we know it works – early learning of key arithmetic, and a focus on times tables and long division, for instance.
“This visit represents a real opportunity for us to see at first hand the teaching methods that have enabled their young people to achieve so well in maths.
“They also have a can-do attitude to maths, which contrasts with the long-term anti-maths culture that exists here.
“The reality is that unless we change our philosophy, and get better at maths, we will suffer economic decline. I am determined to change this.”