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National Numeracy Day at Eastleigh College

National Numeracy Day takes place on 18th May, a day to reflect on the important role that numbers play in all of our lives.

While mathematical skills are commonly associated with occupations in the financial, technology and science industries, the value they have in performing everyday functions can often be overlooked. Cooking, gardening, decorating and driving are just some of the tasks which often rely on efficient numeracy tools, with the need for this ability often appearing in seemingly unrelated fields, such as measuring medication doses in healthcare, handling change in customer service and ordering equipment in manufacturing work.

Despite this, an estimated 17 million adults nationwide – half the working population of the UK – have the numeracy level of primary school children. According to the National Numeracy charity, the outcomes of this include a greater likelihood of unemployment, crime and poor health as well as reduced digital competency and ability to make important financial decisions. There are wider ramifications as well, with a 2021 report finding that the impact of low numeracy skills on the economy could be up to £25 billion per year.

To combat the numeracy crisis in this country, the National Numeracy charity launched National Numeracy Day back in 2018, with the objective of celebrating numeracy skills and helping people build confidence in these skills to enhance their everyday lives. Over 25,000 participated in the inaugural edition and now going into its fifth year, the campaign brings together a new plethora of resources to help pupils, employees and interested individuals alike.

Sam Sims, CEO of National Numeracy, said: “I have been deeply moved by the many individuals who have shared their experiences of maths failure or fear of failure. Hearing them speak of the positive changes our work has made to their lives, livelihoods and self-esteem reveals the multi-faceted value that improving numeracy holds.”

To recognise the day, Eastleigh College will be integrating key features from the campaign into campus activities. This includes helping learners take on the National Numeracy Challenge, an online tool designed to help participants improve their skills whatever their numeracy level. We will also be facilitating discussion as part of the campaign’s new initiative ‘The Big Number Natter’, encouraging people to share their thoughts and feelings on the subject as a means to create positive change.

Julie O’Carroll, Head of Maths at Eastleigh College, said: “It’s clear how vital numeracy is to both educational and economic well-being. By embracing National Numeracy Day, we hope as a College to create increased awareness of the benefits that come with strong numeracy capabilities and through the initiatives on offer, encourage upskilling and development in these areas. There are also still further opportunities to enrol on our maths courses for September 2022.”

A full list of our maths and numeracy course offerings can be found here.

For more information on the work National Numeracy do, please visit their website here.