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UK’s first ever virtual festival of numbers to help a nation at home with maths

13 May 2020

National Numeracy Ambassadors Rachel Riley, Martin Lewis and Bobby Seagull, Maths Factor creator Carol Vorderman, author Lauren Child, comedian Luisa Omielan and the Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane are among those set to help the nation with its numeracy on 13 May.

The UK’s first ever online festival to help the nation with numbers is being led by the charity National Numeracy, with videos, interviews, book readings for kids, practical sessions for adults, free resources and puzzles on

The National Numeracy Virtual Festival covers three areas people want support with during this challenging time: helping children; personal development; and getting to grips with household finance. It aims to help everyone feel a bit better about their number skills.

National Numeracy Day Virtual Festival

The Festival will include Lauren Child reading from her Charlie and Lola and Ruby Redfort maths-focussed books, Carol Vorderman answering questions about unlocking maths confidence, Maths for Mums and Dads author Rob Eastaway sharing tips on how to teach maths at home, the Bank of England’s Andy Haldane helping with household finance and more. Even Amazon’s Alexa will be joining in by answering questions about numeracy.

With home schooling, for instance, the most effective way to help children is for parents to improve their own confidence and skills with numeracy. Parents’ attitudes and beliefs are the main influence on the success of primary school aged children.

But with just a fifth of the working-age population having the equivalent numeracy level of a GSCE pass (Grade 4)i, it is no wonder people feel anxious. Struggling with numbers can make people more vulnerable to debt, unemployment, poor health and fraud and impacts mental health and opportunities – all exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.

So, with number confidence and skills more important than ever, the Day will encourage people to join the 285,000 others who have already started improving their numeracy with the free National Numeracy Challenge. Rachel Riley will be talking people through how to use the tool and opening the Festival.

And National Numeracy Day’s Heroes, five people who have improved their careers and home lives through overcoming anxiety about numeracy – from a nurse to a warehouse worker – will be talking about their stories.

“Throughout my career I’ve seen first-hand how important it is that everyone is confident with numbers, to enable them to succeed in life. I’m delighted to support National Numeracy Day. Whether you are a parent, a young person or you just need a little extra help, this online festival is a great opportunity to build your maths skills.”

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan 

“National Numeracy Day is about showing that being confident with numbers isn’t a special talent, it’s something we can all improve throughout our lives. The 'Couch to 5K’ programme gets people running, and numeracy is the same; anyone can get better with a bit of practice. In these uncertain times, improving everyday maths at home is positive for both adults and children.”

Mike Ellicock, Chief Executive of National Numeracy

“The anxiety people feel about maths can sadly stay with them throughout their lives. But with a little help, everyone can start to see the benefit of a better relationship with numbers.”

Bobby Seagull, maths teacher, TV presenter and National Numeracy Ambassador


For the full festival line-up visit the National Numeracy Day website

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