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16 November 2015

Stevenson Welcomes First Meeting of National Maths Group

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has welcomed the first meeting of a national group designed to raise the profile of maths and numeracy as an essential life skill today (Monday).

The National Profile Raising Group, chaired by Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education in Glasgow, brings together a number of people with a wealth of expertise in the fields of industry, academia and science.

Its remit is to identify key factors that create negative attitudes toward maths and numeracy, assess how attitudes can be changed, and work to make this happen.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Maths can be a subject that creates more fear than inspiration in both young and old - but this does not need to be the case. If we can make mathematics relevant to real life, we can make it a matter of enthusiasm for our kids.

“Maths was a subject that I felt drawn to as a youngster, and when I went to Aberdeen University I graduated with an MA in Mathematics, and a more advanced love of numbers. I am delighted that the Education Secretary Angela Constance has stated that there needs to be a greater public enthusiasm for maths – I couldn’t agree more.”

The National Profile Raising group forms part of Making Maths Count, a Government-led programme with the aim of improving maths and numeracy attainment. The group will publish its recommendations before the end of June 2016.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, announced the establishment of the group earlier this year.

She said:

“I wish the group well as they begin their important work. We need to promote greater enthusiasm for and confidence in maths and numeracy across all society, but particularly amongst young people and their parents. This work can help us rise to the challenge of making maths matter more to Scotland.”

Group chairwoman Maureen McKenna added:

“I had no hesitation in agreeing to chair this group. All my working life I have strived to promote mathematics teaching. As I said when the group was launched, we should be proud to love mathematics, so I am looking forward to chairing the group’s work.”

Another group member Heather Reid, meteorologist and education consultant, said:

“Our society is becoming increasingly underpinned by science, technology and engineering, and it is mathematics that provides the essential framework for life-changing advances in all of these fields. All of us should treasure our mathematical literacy and understand the essential role it plays within our lives.”
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