More needs to be done to improve the attainment levels of pupils in both maths and science.
This is according to the education secretary Michael Gove, who made the assertion during a speech he gave to the Royal Society.
He pointed to international league tables as evidence of the decline in performance of youngsters in the country - in the last decade the UK has fallen from fourth to 16th place in science; and from eighth to 28th in maths.
The government has announced a series of initiatives designed to help those in teaching jobs improve the engagement levels of pupils, with particular importance stressed on the need for technology to be integrated into the curriculum.
For example, secondary school teachers are to start using computer-generated representations and simulations to make key mathematical ideas easier to understand.
Mr Gove also referenced comments made by Barbara Ischinger, director of education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, who described the UK's educational sector as "stagnated".
"For any politician anxious to ensure the next generation enjoy opportunities to flourish in an economy that is growing, in a nation that is confident and in a society that believes in progress, there is no escaping the centrality of mathematics and science," he added.
With the internet playing an increasingly important role in most aspects of life, the politician stated the "imperative for maths and science" is only going to grow.
He added he is determined to reform the system so pupils are given the best possible opportunity to succeed, alongside "essential knowledge which truly empowers".
This is why the government launched the National Curriculum Review, which looked at academic evidence, worked with field-leading experts and investigated international best practice in order to come up with a number of recommendations.
Posted by Tim Colman