Maths teachers up and down the Land are to be sent a little booklet showing them how to teach their subject. Apparently Ofsted, the Schools Inspectors reckon that the kids are just being taught to pass the exams.
This is of course absolutely true and has always been the case, whether it was for the 11+, the 'O' Level or whatever. For the vast majority of people, Maths just isn't very interesting and 99% of the population will never need to do any algebra or solve a quadratic equation after they leave school.
The fact is, most of them can't do the things that might be of some use. For example if are at B+Q and you want some skirting board which comes in 3 metre lengths and your room is 17 feet by 13, then a grasp of mental arithmetic and estimation might well save you an extra journey (and if I had to give one benefit of mathematics it would be avoiding a trip to B+Q)
My 60 year old handyman can do this easily, (and he left school at 15) but if you ask a selection of school leavers, most will look around helplessly until you provide a calculator which will enable them to get the wrong answer.
Try asking "what's 20% off £15?" for a similar response.
Throughout my teaching 'career' (don't laugh) pupils would ask me "why do we have to know this?" and wave a page of their textbook at me. If nothing else, I was always honest and would reply:
"So that you get a certificate which might help you get a better job, or allow you to learn more things"