Scottish Government
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Expansion of numeracy hubs

Extra £1 million funding to improve numeracy.

An expansion of a programme to improve numeracy and continue raising attainment in Scottish schools has been announced today by Minister for Learning Dr Alasdair Allan.

The roll-out of the numeracy hubs programme – which shares best practice between schools and local authorities – was announced as Dr Allan visited Stobhill Primary in Gorebridge, Midlothian, to see how hubs are helping improve numeracy.

The funding for numeracy hubs will be increased by £1.02 million over three years to a total of £1.2 million, to allow creation of additional hubs and the expansion of the current six.

It comes as a second set of numeracy results from the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy is published today.

Stobhill Primary is part of the Midlothian and East Lothian Numeracy Academy, which brings together a number of schools that are using a new approach to teaching maths; training teachers as champions who can share best practice in their schools.

The numeracy hubs work in a variety of ways to train teachers in new techniques around maths and to share best practice between local authorities.

Dr Allan said:

“Expanding and accelerating the development of numeracy hubs is an effective way of raising attainment in maths and I am confident that today’s announcement will lead to further improvements.

“A range of measures of pupils’ attainment in numeracy, such as the latest PISA (the Programme for International Student Assessment) figures and evidence from recent school inspections, are positive.

“The picture that emerges in these figures is one of very few pupils at P4 or P7 not working within the expected level, yet there is a clear issue by S2. We know from other figures that in the later stages of secondary the position improves, with a jump in recent years in the percentage of school pupils leaving with Higher Maths – up from 19% in 2007-08 to 24% in 2011-12.

“We are therefore working across government and with a range of partners to address this issue and give every child in Scotland the best start in life. Best practice must become the norm across our schools and I’m confident that an extra £1.02 million to support the roll-out of numeracy hubs will help achieve that.”

Peter McNaughton, Director of Education at Midlothian Council, said:

“Midlothian is benefitting significantly from its work in partnership within the Numeracy Hub. This is providing us with positive opportunities to use expertise across authorities in developing Numeracy Academies, as well as making use of the SEAL approach (Stages of Early Arithmetical Learning). Vitally, we are utilising all of this to build capacity within staff and improve learning outcomes for our young people.

Iain Ellis, Chair of the National Parent Forum of Scotland, said:

“We recognise the crucial importance of numeracy as a skill that opens many doors for a child’s future. The role of parents is vital to improving children’s skills in this area from an early age.

“The NPFS will work with Government and other partners to ensure that parents get the information and support they need to help develop their child’s numeracy skills. We believe that more can be done if we all work together. We welcome the commitment of the Scottish Government to putting in further support for teachers, parents and children.”

Colin Grant, Director of Education Services in Dumfries and Galloway, said:

“The work of the numeracy hub has made a vital contribution to learning and teaching in Dumfries and Galloway and we look forward to being at the centre of this development for years to come.”

“In Dumfries and Galloway, we believe that partnership working has made a significant contribution to developing resources for practical use in schools, providing high quality professional learning for staff, making a positive impact in the classroom in learning and teaching and raising attainment for our learners.”

Notes To Editors

The SSLN is an annual sample-based survey which monitors national performance over time and in alternate years in literacy and numeracy at P4, P7 and S2. This is the second SSLN numeracy publication and includes comparison information between 2011 and 2013 performance. Pupil and teacher questionnaires are also included as part of the survey and gather information including pupil attitudes and experience in class and teachers experience of delivering numeracy across the curriculum.

About 10,500 pupils and 2,200 schools took part in the survey. About 3,700 teachers completed the teacher questionnaire. The first numeracy survey was in 2011 and published in March 2012. The first literacy survey took place in 2012 and was published in April 2013.

The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy 2013 (Numeracy) is available athttp://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/01095

Funding for the hubs will consist of an extra £220,000 in 2014-15 on top of the existing £180,000, £400,000 in 2015-16 and a provisional allocation of £400,000 in 2016-17. The six existing numeracy hubs are in Angus, Dumfries & Galloway, East Lothian, Glasgow, Midlothian and Moray.

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