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Education in focus

Published: 22 Sep 2015 14:12

Making Maths Count putting greater emphasis on numeracy.

A group established by Government to champion the importance of maths across Scotland will meet for the first time later this year after its chair and remit were confirmed by the Education Secretary Angela Constance.

The Group will be chaired by Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education in Glasgow and a former maths teacher with extensive experience in promoting maths and numeracy. The group will be tasked with:

  • better understanding negative public perceptions in relation to maths and numeracy and how these might be addressed

  • recommending practical, cost-effective approaches to encouraging greater public enthusiasm for maths and numeracy

  • considering how best to address the areas for development for children and young people identified through the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy and other sources

The group forms part of Making Maths Count, a Government-led programme with the aim of improving maths and numeracy attainment in primary and secondary school.

Ms Constance said:

"This year, Scotland's young people gained a record number of Higher and Advanced Higher passes, while a record high number of young people left school for positive destinations such as a college place, job or a Modern Apprenticeship.

"We must build on our success, to ensure that every child and young person, regardless of their background, gets every chance to succeed at school and in life.

"That is why closing the attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most deprived communities is an absolute priority for this Government. It is why we are allocating an additional £100 million over the next four years to establish the Attainment Scotland Fund. But we know we need to do more, especially in driving interest in certain subjects, including Maths.

"Maths and numeracy skills are vital to our future economy and we need to create a much more positive attitude to maths across our society as an essential skill for learning, life and work. This Making Maths Count group will focus on a range of actions to raise the profile of maths, to challenge attitudes and perceptions and ensure its importance is recognised. I welcome Maureen McKenna's appointment as Chair. Her skills and experience will be an asset to the group when they begin their work later this year.

"The group's work will help us understand more about what areas we need to improve. Earlier this year, we launched our draft National Improvement Framework as the next phase of Curriculum for Excellence, building on a strong record of achievement, with the aim of ensuring we have the right information about children's progress right across Scotland.

"By building a strong base of robust and consistent evidence, we can take big strides towards improving Scotland's relationship with maths, strengthening attainment performance in schools and supporting our future economy."