At Home with Carol Vorderman 2013 - (Page 226)

| NUMERACY| 8 Know your numbers IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH YOUR MENTAL ARITHMETIC, YOU’RE NOT ALONE. POOR MATHEMATICS IS A NATIONWIDE PROBLEM FOR MANY ADULTS AND CHILDREN 226 | JUNE 2013 of pupils studying the subject at A-level. He said poor maths was a ‘peculiarly British disease’ that fails to blight other parts of the developed world, prompting claims that it was now seriously undermining the country’s international competitiveness. ‘We have 17 million adults whose maths capabilities are – at best – at the age of an 11 year old,’ he said. ‘Now that’s a scary figure because it means they often can’t understand their pay slip; they often can’t calculate or give change; they have problems with timetables; they certainly can have problems with tax and even with interpreting graphs, charts and meters that are necessary for their jobs.’ A National Numeracy survey of some 2,000 adults revealed that eight in 10 adults ‘would feel embarrassed to own up to someone that they were bad at reading and writing’. But only four out of 10 people had the same embarrassment over poor numeracy. Mike Ellicock, the charity’s chief executive, said: ‘We want to challenge this “I can’t do maths attitude” that is prevalent in the UK. It is often a boast or a badge of honour, and that’s across the whole of the social spectrum.’ > Carol says... ‘Numeracy should start when children are very young. They should play with numbers constantly and parents can help with this in the early years.’ WORDS: Georgina Maric | PHOTOGRAPHS: Getty Images P oor numeracy is a huge and neglected problem. According to the most recent Skills for Life survey, almost 17 million people in the UK have numeracy skills below those needed for the lowest grade at GCSE – for literacy, the comparable figure is five million. Recent studies have also shown that numeracy is a more reliable indicator of disadvantage in life than literacy. The figure has also risen significantly over the last eight years. The number of adults with the numeracy skills of a primary-school pupil has increased from 15 million to that of 17 million. It now equates to some 49% of all 16- to 65-yearolds – practically half. Chris Humphries is chairman of National Numeracy (www., a new charity launched in March, which is the first organisation of its kind to champion the importance of ‘number skills’ for people of all age groups. He said that maths had been steadily downgraded in this country since the 40s and 50s, leading to a decline in the number of both available good maths teachers and

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of At Home with Carol Vorderman 2013

Editor's letter
Carol's hello
Summer days
Rear of the year
Shades of citrus
Maxi moment
Good for the sole
Razzle dazzle
Swing by the sixties
All shapes and sizes
Steal her look
The swimwear round
A moment with Carol
Beaming with pride
Loose women
Forever friends
What men want
The D word
Fear not
Keep your flirt on
Sex on fire
Culinary classics
Food glorious food
At a pinch
Oiling the meals
Flaming hot
Under the grill
Raise a glass
Water works
Weight-dropping wonders
Tuck in
Home improvements
Holiday hazards
Proceed with caution
Warning signs
Down to the bare bones
Back on track
A sorry sight
20 under £20
How do they do it?
Rewind time
Lacklustre locks?
Pearly brights
Good job hunting
Old timers
The golden years
Cash in a flash
Money guru
Foster the love
Child's play
Easy as 1, 2, 3?
Summertime accessories
Those in glass houses
On the tiles
Home safe home
Savvy traveller
Holiday honcho
Port of call
Here come the girls
It's a numbers game
Book it in
Up, up and away!
Last word

At Home with Carol Vorderman 2013