JUST ANNOUNCED: Boost to lifelong numeracy with early-years “real world” maths teaching

JUST ANNOUNCED: Boost to lifelong numeracy with early-years “real world” maths teaching

Labour will set children up with basic, practical maths skills right from the start, to help them achieve at secondary school, at work and throughout life in a landmark new curriculum plan.

In her speech to Labour Party Conference on Wednesday, Shadow Education Bridget Phillipson said that Britain will “tackle our chronic cultural problem with maths” under the next Labour government.

It is part of Labour’s mission to break down barriers to opportunity by driving high and rising standards in education.

This will involve improved teaching of “real life” maths – the numeracy people need “for life and for work, to earn and to spend” – at primary school level, giving people greater confidence to carry out tasks like analysing basic graphs and and calculating the value of supermarket offers as adults.

It will mean upskilling primary school teachers who are not maths teachers with the right skills and knowledge to deliver high class maths teaching, and will build on the the successful work the last Labour government did on literacy.

Teaching will focus on how numeracy is used in the world around us, such as through household budgeting, currency exchange rates when going on holiday, sports league tables and cookery recipes.

Bridget Phillipson told Labour Party Conference: “In every part of our system, in every year of children’s lives, in every corner of our country, we will be the party of high and rising standards.

“Maths is the language of the universe, the underpinning of our collective understanding. It cannot be left till the last years of school.

“It’s why I’m proud to tell you today, that we’ll tackle our chronic cultural problem with maths, by making sure it’s better taught at six, never mind sixteen. 

“I am determined that Labour will bring maths to life for the next generation. I want the numeracy all our young people need – for life and for work, to earn and to spend, to understand and to challenge. I want that to be part of their learning right from the start.

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