New research by National Numeracy earlier this year revealed that 1 in 4 people would be put off applying for a job if numbers and data were listed as a requirement.
To help combat this, we launched the first ever Checktember – a month of activity encouraging people to get online and find out their numeracy level, see how it relates to qualifications today, and access help to improve if they needed it.
For most of us, it’s been a while since we studied maths at school, and when faced with a professional qualification or course which involves a maths test it is easy to feel out of practise. Changes to qualifications can also cause confusion about whether grades and certificates obtained in the past are equivalent to current standards in the education system.
We wanted everyone to know that you don’t have to go back to school or retake your GCSE to check your skills. It is easy to find out what numeracy level you’re currently working at by using the National Numeracy Challenge.
National Numeracy does Checktember 2019
We can all find out in about an hour what our numeracy level is and how it compares to qualifications today. The National Numeracy team all joined in to check their numeracy levels throughout Checktember.
We shared our feelings before and after retaking the Check-Up, because we all feel differently about our number skills and we wanted to show that however maths makes you feel… you’re not alone.
Inspiration to check your numeracy level and take steps to improve
We also shared stories from learners who have used the National Numeracy Challenge to help them take the next step in their careers.
Shannon felt her stomach churn when it came to numbers. She dreamed of getting a PGCE but first needed to improve her numeracy skills and retake her Maths GCSE all while raising a new baby.
"I knew I needed a teaching qualification to get where I wanted to be. I found the resources on the National Numeracy Challenge really did help. It won't take long to learn and understand – you just have to dedicate yourself to it. It's helped me to fulfil my dream – I'm 28 and I'm going back to university to be a teacher."
Shannon, 28, Liverpool
We featured a video filmed with a group of USDAW members who talked about their experiences of using the National Numeracy Challenge and published a blog on how to use the Challenge as a stepping stone to a Level 2 qualification.
We also interviewed Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the OECD, on the value of numeracy and importance of understanding adult numeracy levels.
We are thrilled to say that almost 6000 people signed up to check their numeracy level this Checktember, but we want everyone to know that the National Numeracy Challenge is available for free all year round. It has never been easier to check up on your skills and give yourself a little maths MOT.
Start improving your numeracy – register on the National Numeracy Challenge now!
National Numeracy has developed an online tool to help you improve your numeracy and boost your confidence. This interactive website is free to use at home, at work or on the move. You can assess your current level of numeracy – completely anonymously – and then begin an online journey to getting the Essentials of Numeracy.