Ofsted’s new maths report welcomed by NIACE

22 May 2012

NIACE welcomes Ofsted’s recognition of the importance of parents and carers in supporting children’s maths in its latest report into maths teaching – Mathematics: made to measure – published on 22 May.

Sue Southwood, NIACE Programme Manager, said:

“We strongly support the good practice highlighted in the report from Ofsted, particularly the examples which illustrate the benefits of working with parents and carers through workshops, advice and drop-in sessions. Much more needs to be done to tackle the challenge of adult numeracy and to prevent the negative attitudes to maths, which so often come from a lack of confidence in maths, being passed down through the generations. In order to overcome the widespread fear of maths learning, there should be incentives to encourage adults to ‘dip their toe in the water’ and funding mechanisms which allow a wide range of organisations to support bite-sized, informal or ‘just in time’ learning to encourage the flexibility of adult maths provision.”

“We are particularly concerned about the fact that 10% who do not reach the expected standard of maths at age seven doubles to 20% by age 11, and nearly doubles again by age 16. This is extremely worrying for those reaching adulthood with low maths skills and urgently needs addressing. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, that parents and carers have the skills they need to help support their children’s maths. We wholeheartedly agree with the call for maths teaching to be practical and relevant for both children and adults. Maths is a necessary skill for everyday life and needs to be taught in a way that is relevant and interesting.”