Monday, 10 March 2014

Improve Your Numeracy: This Years Numeracy Challenge!

Adults who want to brush up on their maths skills are being encouraged to stand up and be counted at this year’s Numeracy Challenge.

The Numeracy Challenge launched this week is a UK wide drive designed to improve adults' confidence and competence with numeracy.

Helping people develop their numeracy skills can also really add up in helping them find a job or move on in the next stage of their career.

It’s thought around 17 million people of working age in England had, at best, the numeracy skills expected of children by the end of primary school. Over 8 million of these adults had the skills expected of 7-9 year-olds or younger. However, a recent poll by organisation National Numeracy showed that over a third of adults wanted to improve their maths skills. This rose to two thirds for people who were unemployed.

Last year, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adult Learning Team helped local people gain over a 1000 accredited qualifications in numeracy and literacy. The team are also supporting the Numeracy Challenge and will be offering numeracy and literacy courses, throughout their centres in Cambridgeshire. Many of these courses are free. People can also take part in the Numeracy Challenge online by visiting This provides a numeracy ‘Challenge check up’, which takes 20 minutes to fill in. It will give users a clear indication where they need to improve.

Rebecca Morgan, Learning Services Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Being numerate means being able to use numbers and think mathematically. This is now essential to so many aspects of our lives and at work. It can improve adults' confidence, competence and improve chances of securing work so there is a real economic value too. Our learning centres, access points and community learning courses are friendly, fun and unpressurised places to learn, which are very different from formal education, where people can come and improve their maths. We’ve had some real success stories over the years so please come and see us.”

County Councillor David Harty, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Learning, added: “The Numeracy Challenge can provide the perfect formula to help people improve their Maths. It’s a key priority for Adult Learning Services at Cambridgeshire County Council as it is a core skill that can improve people’s wellbeing and job prospects too. Some of the stats show a real call for people to improve their numeracy skills, so please get in touch with our Adult Learning teams. ”

To find out more about numeracy courses in your area call Cambridgeshire County Council on 0345 045 5200. Course details are also available

To take the the Challenge Checker and to get more information about the Numeracy challenge, go to