Numeracy Skills in British Children And Adults – Facts and Stats

26th Oct 2015

Developing good numeracy skills is crucial for the future of our children. Of course, numeracy is not something that stops with our formal education. Numeracy among adults is equally as important as numeracy among children.

According to the latest stats, about 20% of children in the UK finish primary school with lower than expected results on maths test. In other words, about 6 children in a class of 30 children have problems and find numbers difficult before they begin secondary school.

In addition, more than 700 primary schools in England have not met the new standards set by the government regarding maths and English. This means that more than half of their students didn’t reach the necessary levels in maths, reading and writing for secondary school. Schools with smaller classes usually provide better results.

Adults are not much different. Way too many UK adults do not possess the basic numeracy skills that are required for normal everyday life and research has shown they are two times less likely to be hired compared to those who have good maths skills.

I note that most people will gladly share the fact that they are not good at maths and that they don’t really like maths. This is something that the society accepts and most people agree that some people are not “talented” when it comes to mathematics and numbers, a notion which is completely wrong. You generally can’t expect to hear people saying with glee, that they are not good at writing or reading. The collective negative opinion about number skills makes it harder for people to get better at it.

While it is true that the government, schools and society in general are trying to support the raising of standards in numeracy for both children and adults, it is also true that there doesn’t seem to be a complete, comprehensive strategy that will improve the attitudes, teaching and skills for every age group. Only a small number of programs and initiatives are focused directly on numeracy. We also have to concentrate a larger part of the efforts on children. They are the leaders of tomorrow. If we are planning to improve these skills and standards, what we need to do is to come up with a detailed, effective and practical plan that can help in schools, outside schools, and adults.

Did you know that statistics show that children who have difficulties with numbers are more likely to be excluded from their primary or secondary school?

We are living in a digital age where numbers are more important than ever. Lack of numeracy skills can negatively affect the future of our children. That’s why we parents and teachers need to pay special attention to these classes and do our best to make sure children embrace maths as something useful, fun and helpful. Luckily, there are many ways in which we can do that and the process is not as difficult as it used to be in the past.