Welsh Government
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New national programme to drive up numeracy standards in our schools

A new national programme to drive up numeracy standards in Wales’ schools has been published by Education Minister, Leighton Andrews.

The National Numeracy Programme (NNP), which the Minister will formally launch at Ynystawe Primary School in Swansea, sets out the actions that will be taken by the Welsh Government and its partners to improve numeracy standards over the next five years.

The actions are focused around the following four themes:

  • raising the numeracy standards of all pupils.
  • breaking the cycle of underachievement in numeracy in Wales.
  • raising the competence and confidence of teachers in teaching numeracy.
  • improving social attitudes and behaviours around numeracy.

Underlining the importance of numeracy in everyday situations, the NNP emphasises that numeracy skills should be taught right across the curriculum, beginning in the Foundation Phase.

This will be achieved through targeted support and intervention for pupils; support for teachers’ professional development; the sharing and consistent use of best practice; a statutory National Literacy and Numeracy Framework; and national numeracy tests for all learners in Years 2 to 9, giving teachers, parents and carers a more accurate picture of a pupil’s ability.

Professional development and support for teachers will underpin the work of the NNP, with a greater emphasis on numeracy in initial teaching training courses and the newly-launched Masters in Educational Practice. Further support will be offered through the new Learning Wales website.

The NNP also proposes that a programme is developed to encourage employers to work with schools specifically to support teachers in the teaching of numeracy to learners.

Professional Learning Communities and regional educational consortia will also play a key role in identifying and sharing best practice, allowing schools and teachers to learn from each other.

Leighton Andrews said:

“Improving levels of numeracy is a key commitment in our Programme for Government. Nothing is more important than ensuring all of our young people have the skills they need to succeed in school and the world of work.

“It is important that we challenge the established attitude that “not being good with numbers” is somehow more acceptable than not being able to read. Numeracy skills are an essential part of everyday life and we need to ensure that our learners are able to use and apply these skills in a variety of different situations.

“The National Numeracy Programme will ensure all learners develop sound numeracy skills from an early age and through every stage of their education, supported by a consistent, supportive and intelligent system of assessment.”

Related Links

National Literacy and Numeracy Framework and Tests

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