How a confidence-based approach to numbers can have a major impact
Our research shows that number confidence is crucial to unlocking number skills improvement. In addition, we see that a confidence-based approach to numbers can have major impact, far beyond mere skills improvement.
The correlation between number confidence and number skills is so strong, in fact, that number confidence is the single best predictor of number skills. Having a growth mindset is also key. The belief that maths ability is fixed is often the biggest barrier to improvement.
Poor numeracy (including levels of skill and confidence) is widespread but largely hidden. This inevitably impacts on education outcomes and qualifications, career choices and progression, and ultimately prosperity, social mobility and social cohesion.
National Numeracy actively supports people to improve their number confidence and skills, including through the National Numeracy Challenge online tool.
In 2022, over 1,000 users of this tool were surveyed as part of our Number Confidence and Social Mobility research report, which was published in April 2023 and supported by our partner Capital One.
This briefing paper focuses on insights from the report around the role number confidence plays in improving people’s number skills, and the implications for supporting social mobility.