MP has maths on her mind
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan used National Numeracy Day to call on the Government to invest in basic skills for maths-focused learning and teacher training for early years.
“It is absolutely vital that we get numeracy skills right for early years education if we are to provide children with the skills and confidence to use maths skills through their lives,” she said.
“It is staggering how many are held back because of a lack of confidence, or because they weren’t taught the basic skills and this can affect household budgets, lifestyle decisions and career prospects.”
Mrs Trevelyan was a major force behind a report last year by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on maths and numeracy in the early years.
“Our report last year recommended that we needed to increase investment in the early years curriculum and we need to ensure that nobody is left behind without the skills they need in life,” said Mrs Trevelyan.
“This is a challenge that we all face and we must meet it head on. I would encourage everyone to take the National Numeracy Test online and brush up on their skills. It is never too late to learn and we can support one another to guarantee that we get maths and numeracy right.”
Research in that report found that early years was critical in ensuring people had the numeracy skills, and confidence to use them in later life, and many fell behind if they didn’t learn the right skills at an early age.
To support that report, new research released to mark the launch of the UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day has shown that anxiety around numeracy and maths could be holding back millions of people from getting on at work or getting a better deal on their personal finances.
Anne-Marie asked the Department for Education at Education Questions; “Speaking as a mathematician - not a historian — I welcome the fantastic work that the Government are doing to increase critical basic maths participation for longer in our schools, especially for girls. Does the Minister agree that, as our all-party group on maths and numeracy report on early years highlighted last year, we need to invest more in basic skills in maths-focused learning and teacher training for early years education, so that through the development of number sense, all children can flourish in maths once they get to school?”
Anne Milton, Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships, agreed on the importance of basic skills in numeracy and said that ‘we should be shocked that one in two adults has the numeracy skills of an 11 year old or younger’.