AIM: To reduce the number of adults in the UK with low levels of numeracy by over 1 million in the next five years.

By numeracy we mean ‘everyday maths’; the maths that helps people to make decisions in day-to-day adult life and work. Without a reasonable level of numeracy, people may not be able to manage their money through to pay-day, plan journeys or understand interest rates, medical information or promotional offers.

Introduction to the National Numeracy Challenge

What is the National Numeracy Challenge?

  • A UK wide drive designed to improve adults' confidence and competence with numeracy.

  • A call to action to everyone in workplaces (employers and unions), adult education, community organisations, and individuals to - with our support - improve their numeracy using methods that suit them.

  • Aimed specifically at the 78% of UK adults with an understanding of numeracy below the equivalent of Level 2 (GCSE grades A*-C).

Changing attitudes

    • The Challenge also aims to transform negative attitudes towards maths and numeracy and to create a positive “can do” attitude, a key element for improving numeracy skills.

What is the issue?

  • The Skills for Life Survey (2011) found that 17 million people of working age in England had, at best, the numeracy skills expected of children by the end of primary school. Over 8 million of these adults had the skills expected of 7-9 year-olds or younger – see more figures.

  • Efforts so far have not made an improvement in numeracy skills, with it often being hidden behind literacy. The Challenge initiative provides a new drive with an innovative approach.

  • In the recent OECD report, England was ranked at 21 out of 24 developed countries for low numeracy and Essential Skills levels amongst young adults (aged 16-24) - see more details.
  • Our opinion poll suggests that millions of people in the UK want to improve their maths skills and many feel they were badly prepared at school for the numeracy they need in everyday life.

The Challenge Online

  • Central to the National Numeracy Challenge is the Challenge Online which is an interactive website designed to boost confidence and improve everyday maths skills.

  • Take a look here -

Challenge Champions

Firm Foundations for All

  • Firm Foundations for All will provide support to adults with the lowest numeracy skills, for whom the Challenge Online may not be suitable.

More information

The story so far

Become a Challenge partner

Contact us via:

Tel: 01273 900 298

Challenge Support and Promotion

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National Numeracy Challenge

Challenge Online

Find out more about the Challenge Online tool here...

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