For adult numeracy, the focus is on the previously announced £560m Multiply scheme to target disparities in numeracy levels across the UK with local support and skills bootcamps. But the paper states: “Disparities in numeracy levels across the UK make this a key policy for levelling up.”
Meanwhile, children’s numeracy is the focus of Mission 5 that says that by 2030, 90% of all primary school children in England will achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths; and that the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst performing areas improving by a third. The forthcoming Schools White Paper is flagged as containing more information on improving literacy and numeracy for those furthest behind.
Sam Sims, CEO of National Numeracy says: “We are pleased to see that improving numeracy is at the heart the government’s plans to support both adults and children with the number skills they need to progress in life and welcome the emphasis on local support.
“We know that low numeracy affects different parts of the country in different ways, so taking a local approach is critical. Our work helping individuals and communities improve their numeracy over the past decade shows time and again that it’s not just about maths skills – it’s about improving confidence, attitudes and mindsets too.
“Our research has shown that
The cost of low numeracy skills to the UK was pegged at as much as £25 billion per year by the report published in April 2021 by charity Pro Bono Economics and commissioned by KPMG for National Numeracy.
According to the report, Covid pandemic job losses have hit those with low numeracy hardest - with 59% of people who had lost their jobs at that point in the pandemic were likely to have low numeracy skills. The North East, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber have most to gain from numeracy improvement, according to the research which includes a full regional analysis.
Further research for National Numeracy last year revealed that nearly a third of Brits (31%) said they struggled with everyday maths and more than a quarter (29%) avoid situations involving numbers. Furthermore, 39% of people say maths leaves them feeling anxious, with those in London (60%) and the North East (44%) and younger respondents (60% of 18-24’s; 61% of 25-34’s) feeling particularly uneasy. The research was carried out by OnePoll, commissioned by KPMG for National Numeracy.
Recently National Numeracy launched the National Numeracy Leadership Council together with the government and a pioneering group of organisations to tackle the UK’s numeracy crisis. The Council is just one of a range of initiatives, tools, training and campaigns we run to improve adult and child numeracy.
National Numeracy is an independent charity dedicated to helping people feel confident with numbers and using everyday maths. Our mission is to empower children and adults in the UK to get on with numbers so they can fulfil their potential at work, home and school. Our work improves how people understand and work with numbers in everyday life, sparking better opportunities and brighter futures.
Julia Day, External Relations Director at National Numeracy
[email protected] / 07974 209 148
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