Today (15 May) is National Numeracy Day a great opportunity to highlight the value of numeracy and encourage people to take action to improve their skills. From cooking, to working out your weekly shop or organising your mortgage or rent payments, numbers are hugely important in everyday life.
It is never too late to improve your numeracy skills, especially when being better with numbers can change your life. To help this, the Government has introduced several new changes which includes reforming the maths GCSE, Functional Skills Qualifications, and has set up a network of new maths hubs across the country.
These changes have helped make sure more people are leaving education with a good grasp of maths. In 2018, more than 75% of 19 year olds held a GCSE or equivalent qualification in maths. Maths is also now the most popular A Level chosen by students in England. Since 2010, entries have risen by quarter (up 25.4% to 87,531 in 2018).
Here are just some of the things the Government is doing to help boost the nation’s maths skills:
There are lots of opportunities to improve your maths skills
We know students who leave education with a strong grasp of English and maths increase their chances of getting a job, a career or going on to higher levels of education.
If you’re over 16 and left school without gaining a GCSE grade 4 in maths, then you’ll continue to study maths as part of your 16-18 education or training. As a result of this, tens of thousands of young people aged 17 and over in England are successful in their GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.
If you are aged 19 or over and haven’t achieved a GCSE grade C/4 or higher in maths already, but want to improve your maths, the Government fully funds a range of maths courses up to Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent).
Our network of specialist maths hubs are supporting schools to deliver improved and innovative teaching methods across the county.
In 2014, we launched the maths hubs programme – a national network of 35 hubs across England to support to teachers and schools to improve the quality of maths education from the Early Years through to age 18. All the support is available free of charge to maths teachers in any state funded schools and colleges in England.
Maths hubs also deliver the Teaching for Mastery programme, which adapts maths education from top-performing East Asian schools for teaching in English schools. The programme which is backed by £76 million aims to reach 11,000 primary and secondary schools by 2023.
New Centres of Excellence in Maths established around the country to boost maths post-16
21 Centres for Excellence in Maths have been launched and will work with networks of Further Education providers across the length and breadth of England. The Centres are designed to improve understanding of what works in teaching and support best practice to improve maths for students over the age of 16 who previously had low attainment grades.
More support for Further Education providers to help boost maths outcomes for their students
Finally, we’ve launched the Basic Maths Premium Pilot. It offers up to £500 per eligible student aged 16 and over to Further Education providers to improve the outcomes of low attaining students.
To find out whether your numeracy skills are up to scratch, get involved by taking the National Numeracy Day challenge here.