Happy new year! Still less than a year old, National Numeracy has been highly active in recent months forming new partnerships and speaking out as loudly as possible about the need to improve the UK’s numeracy and shed negative attitudes to maths. Our message remains: everyone can improve their everyday maths skills – with support and determination. We are also now developing our first major practical project, the National Numeracy Challenge, which has the potential to make a significant difference to levels of adult numeracy.
In the news...
National Numeracy Challenge
The Challenge was announced in October at a reception at the House of Lords attended by 180 people from business, education, politics, and the voluntary sector. The Challenge aims to reach 1 million adults over a five-year period, concentrating initially on those in employment, but expanding into areas beyond this. Working with a range of partners from all sectors, we will challenge those taking part to improve their numeracy skills to at least Level 1 (roughly equivalent to the standards expected of 14-year-olds). With 17 million people of working age in England currently below this level, the Challenge will begin to tackle an enormous and long-term task. Read more
National Numeracy and the media
We have continued to attract media attention, with both the press and media organisations seeking our views on a range of numeracy and maths developments. There was particular interest in our announcement on the Challenge
, our thoughts to the government’s announcement on the calculator ban
and the publication of the full Skills for Life report
. We even featured in a broadcast by China Central TV on maths in the UK…….
Full Skills for Life Survey results
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has published the full report of the 2011 Skills for Life Survey, the headlines of which, first released in December 2011, revealed the now infamous statistic of 17 million adults with primary-level maths skills. The full report offers a fascinating mass of detail on numeracy, literacy and IT skills – by region, age, gender and employment status. We have summarised the key findings on numeracy.
Other projects and activities...
Developing the 'Essentials of Numeracy for all'
A key element of the Challenge is to agree on the skills, processes, concepts and attitudes that define 'being numerate'. This will ensure the assessment and learning materials are sound, reliable and consistent and address all the essential elements of numeracy for work and adult life. We already have an outline model and we are now working with a wide range of partners to develop this further. We would welcome your thoughts too.