Headlines: September 17th, 1999

Parents, schools, local education authorities, museums, businesses and the
Department for Education and Employment are joining up in a partnership to
promote a ‘can-do’ attitude to maths and working with figures. Maths Year
2000 will be launched in the new year as part of the National Numeracy
Strategy, which came into effect with the start of the new school year.

Parents will be encouraged to get involved as the numeracy strategy rolls
out in schools, by showing them how they can help their children with
maths, through family numeracy courses, and a booklet linked to a series
of TV adverts offering practical tips.

At the national level business will be involved in sponsorship. McVitie’s
and Mirror Group Newspapers are sponsoring a competition to find names for
logo characters that will be used to promote Maths Year 2000. In addition
the companies will also shortly launch their ‘Maths Stuff for Schools’
voucher scheme. There will be five billion vouchers available to redeem
against a catalogue of maths resources.

The National Numeracy Strategy requires all schools to provide daily maths
lessons from the start of the current school year. Last year 70% of primary
schools adopted the daily lesson on a voluntary basis and the results have
shown through in the latest test results for 11 year olds. Compared to the
1998 figures, performance has risen by 10 percentage points from 59% to
69%. The target for 2002 is 75%.