LETTER: Maths skills are essential

MEP  Emma McClarkin
MEP Emma McClarkin

Practical maths skills are essential for success in work, study and life.

Independent polling conducted by YouGov demonstrates that 85 per cent of businesses in the East Midlands say employees with practical maths skills have a competitive edge over their colleagues.

This is significantly above the national average, showing these skills are more highly prized in the East Midlands than elsewhere.

However, in England, more than 60 per cent of young people with a GCSE pass grade drop maths, whereas in most other leading European countries more than 80 per cent of students continue with their maths education to 18.

This means our businesses are in danger of falling behind European competitors unless we do more to boost the uptake of maths for our over-16s.

We need maths courses that make the subject more relevant to young people and give them maths skills that they can apply to their own lives. The new course, core maths, was launched to address this need.

It was designed in partnership between businesses and academics. 
Core maths allows students to retain, deepen and extend their maths in contexts relevant to life, study and work.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has called on all FE colleges and sixth forms in the East Midlands to offer core maths to their students. I fully endorse her call and want to see it become a reality so that all young people in the region have the opportunity to develop the practical and applied maths skills they need for future success in the East Midlands and beyond.

Emma McClarkin

East Midlands MEP