Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage hosted the launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy in Westminster yesterday.
Joined by Education Minister, Elizabeth Truss MP, and Johnny Ball of Think of a Number fame, Caroline welcomed MPs, Peers and delegates from across the skills industry to Parliament and introduced the aims of the new Parliamentary Group.
With over 8 million adults in the UK having the numeracy skills of 7-9 year olds or younger, the National Numeracy charity has estimated that poor numeracy costs the economy £20.2 billion per year, approximately 1.3% of the UK's GDP. The Group has been established to raise awareness of this issue and to make recommendations on improving adult numeracy and the teaching of maths in schools.
Speaking after the launch, Caroline commented:
"Today's launch marks the start of a hugely important drive to tackle poor numeracy in the UK. Having the support of influential figures such as Liz Truss MP and Johnny Ball highlights the urgency of the task at hand.
I am confident that working in collaboration with the National Numeracy charity, the ICAEW and Parliamentarians from all parties, we are well placed to make a real difference to the face of maths and numeracy in the UK."
During her speech, Elizabeth Truss MP, said:
"I am delighted that the All Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy is being established. There is a growing political consensus around the importance of maths education with both Conservatives and Labour wanting all students to continue with maths until 18.
Building up confidence in maths, getting across the importance of maths, working with people to drive up numeracy - that work is essential. The emphasis is on the fact that maths is for everyone, not just specialists and experts."
Caroline has long campaigned about the importance of basic skills; most recently, she helped to secure a Business Innovation & Skills Select Committee inquiry into adult literacy and numeracy issues in the UK. She will act as Co-Chair of the APPG, alongside Barry Sheerman MP, whilst the group's secretariat will be formed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) the National Numeracy charity.