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First meeting for maths group

Published: 16 Nov 2015 10:10
Part of:
Economy, Education

Group established by Education Secretary convening in Glasgow.

A group charged with raising the profile of maths and numeracy as an essential skill for learning, life and work is meeting for the first time today.

The National Profile Raising Group, chaired by Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education in Glasgow, brings together a membership with a wealth of expertise, including industry, academia and science.

Its remit is to identify key factors creating negative attitudes to maths and numeracy, how attitudes can be changed and work with the right people to make change happen.

The group forms part of Making Maths Count, a Government-led programme with the aim of improving maths and numeracy attainment. The group will publish its recommendations before the end of June 2016.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, announced she was establishing the group earlier this year. She said:

"I wish the group well as they begin their important work. We need to promote greater enthusiasm for and confidence in maths and numeracy across all society, but particularly amongst young people and their parents. This work can help us rise to the challenge of making maths matter more to Scotland."

Maureen McKenna, the group's chair, said:

"I had no hesitation in agreeing to chair this group. All my working life I have strived to promote mathematics teaching. As I said when the group was launched, we should be proud to love mathematics, so I am looking forward to chairing the group's work."

Aberdeen Asset Management is also represented on the group and its Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert, said:

"Improving understanding of maths and numeracy for young people gives them the very best chance of succeeding in life. I was lucky enough to have an inspirational maths teacher at school and that has certainly been of huge benefit to me throughout my career.

"Initiatives of this kind raise awareness of the importance of these essential skills and I'm delighted Aberdeen Asset Management is contributing to the group."

Heather Reid, meteorologist and education consultant, is also a member of the group. She said:

"Our society is becoming increasingly underpinned by science, technology and engineering, and it's mathematics that provides the essential framework for life-changing advances in all of these fields. All of us should treasure our mathematical literacy and understand the essential role it plays within our lives."

Notes to editors

Read more about the announcement of the National Profile Raising Group here:

Membership of National Profile Raising Group

Maureen McKenna - Chair
Executive Director of Education, Glasgow City Council.

Dr Tara Brendle
Reader in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Glasgow University and a member of the London Mathematical Society's Women in Mathematics Committee.

Billy Burke
Headteacher of Renfrew High School and teacher of Mathematics.

Dr Sandra Cairncross
Chair of the Steering Committee for Equate Scotland and Assistant Principal - Student Experience at Edinburgh Napier University. Prior to her current appointment, Sandra was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier University.

Leah Hutcheon
Entrepreneur and founder of Appointedd, a business management software company. Leah is also an ambassador for Women's Enterprise Scotland.

Joe McLachlan
Member of the National Parent Forum of Scotland and represents East Renfrewshire Parent Council Chairs. At national level, Joe has been working on behalf of the NPFS to promote maths and numeracy skills.

Peter McNaughton
Head of Education and Children's Services (Broad General Education) in Fife Council. Before that, Peter worked with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education and then Education Scotland. Peter has also worked as a primary teacher and Headteacher in West Lothian.

Sean Phayre
Global Head of Quantitive Investment at Aberdeen Asset Management.

Heather Reid
Science education consultant and communicator, member of the Board of Glasgow Science Centre and former senior weather forecaster for BBC Scotland.

Ian Ritchie
Chairman of Iomart plc and Dynamic Earth Science Centre, and board member of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Caroline Stuart
Director of Oracle Scotland and involved in a range of initiatives to promote better representation of women in STEM subjects and careers.