It is National Numeracy Day – a day to celebrate the importance of maths as well as helping people to sharpen their skills and build their confidence in the subject.
To mark the first National Numeracy Day, Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb has confirmed that £1.75m of funding will be used to create two new ‘Hubs’ in Central Lancashire and Cheshire to help spread best teaching practice and improve local pupils’ knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of mathematics.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
It’s great to be part of the first National Numeracy Day. Almost half of working-age adults currently have the numeracy levels we expect of primary school children- that needs to change.
I want people of all ages to feel confident using numbers because they play a big part in all of our lives- we use them for shopping, managing your money at home, cooking, planning a journey and even sport.
We fully fund maths up to GCSE level so that young people and adults can get the skills they need. Being better with numbers isn’t a special talent, it’s something we can all still learn! Boosting your numeracy skills can change your life.
Dave Grosvenor, Education Programme Manager for Learning by Questions, said:
At primary level children are 50/50 about the existence of a ‘maths person’ but by secondary the majority believe that some people are biologically predetermined to be better with figures
What’s more worrying is that most of those children believe that they are not ‘maths people’ which is a tragedy and it’s robbing us of future mathematicians, engineers, scientists, or simply adults who can navigate numbers with confidence.
Laurie Miles, Director of Analytics at SAS UK & Ireland said:
The fact that maths is now one of the most popular A-level subjects is encouraging, but more needs to be done to address the data skills gap. The annual National Numeracy day is a great way to highlight this issue. Britain is at risk of falling behind other countries in the race to become a leader in the digital information economy.
Big data analytics and the internet of things have the potential to add £322 billion into the UK economy and create 182,000 new jobs between 2015 and 2020, but only if we are prepared to take on the challenge.
Not only do we need to up-skill our current workforce, we also need to provide training for young people in schools, colleges and universities. The next generation requires a solid foundation in analytics, business intelligence and data management, so as to exploit opportunities in exciting new areas like artificial intelligence and the internet of things.
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:
Thanks to our reforms and the hard work of teachers, standards are rising in our schools and the proportion of primary school pupils reaching the expected standards in reading, writing and maths went up 8 percentage points last year. We have also introduced a more rigorous maths curriculum and now have record numbers studying maths at A level.
But poor numeracy still costs the UK a staggering £20billion every year and we want more pupils to feel confident using numbers as it can open up a wide range of options for future study, training and work.
Thanks to a £74 million investment there are already over 2,500 schools across the country involved in the Teaching for Mastery approach, and today’s announcement will help ensure more children in the north have access to a world-class maths education.