Confidence with Numbers
When we talk about being 'number confident' or having 'confidence with numbers' we mean being confident enough to use the maths skills we need in every-day situations.
Do you know anyone who says they're 'bad at maths' or they're 'not a numbers person'?
Believing that our ability with maths is fixed and that we can't improve is often the biggest barrier to improving our number skills. This is the reason why National Numeracy focus so much on how we feel about maths and numbers.
There is growing evidence that our ability to use numbers is not fixed, and while specific barriers like dyscalculia do exist for some of us, we can all improve and find ways to use numbers in daily life.
By working with thousands of adult learners we've found that the only way to improve is to believe you can do it, that's where confidence comes in.
Our confidence with numbers doesn't always match our skills. For example, more women than men tend to underestimate their ability with numbers. Assuming we're not good with numbers can stop us using the skills we have and prevent us from improving.
Not having the confidence to use the skills you have can mean you miss out on the benefits of better numeracy such as stronger finances.
Assuming that our skills are fine as they are can also be a problem. Some of us - more often men - are confident in our ability without having all the right skills. This can lead us to make mistakes or poor decisions.
This is why confidence and skills with numbers are both essential.
In November we run a campaign called Number Confidence Week to inspire the UK to build confidence with numbers. We get learners who have been affected by low confidence with numbers, experts who can help boost confidence and our celebrity ambassadors to talk about the problem and how to overcome it. We also share free practical resources for you to watch and download, to help you start your own journey towards number confidence.