Too many children start to fall behind in maths early on and that failure is compounded over the years.
Very many young people leave school without the numeracy skills needed for life. The gap between low and high achievers is greater in maths than in any other subject.
This is not a new situation but it is one that successive governments have failed to resolve.
We want all children to see maths as something they can learn and something that is relevant to their lives after school. Whether or not they proceed to higher maths, all children need to develop confident numeracy skills that will serve them well throughout life.
The issue is not just about children's competence with numeracy, it is about their confidence and attitude to the subject too.
Parents give children their first experiences of maths, and it is important that this is positive. Children who hear 'I can't do maths' are likely to start believing maths is unimportant. Visit our Family Maths Toolkit for tips on how to talk about maths, fun downloadable activities and ideas to bring numeracy to life.
For teachers, our early intervention programme, Passport Maths, supports progression in fundamental mathematical concepts to help students to go on to better outcomes at GCSE.