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Literacy and maths in the UK – are we failing our children?

This month the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of a large study measuring the literacy and numeracy skills of 16 to 24-year-olds  across the world. The results for England were shocking – 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy out of 24 countries in the study.

The study involved testing 166,000 young people and adults (age 16-65) from different countries including the UK, England and Northern Ireland. The study looked at literacy, numeracy and digital skills. Japan and Finland topped the tables while the UK lagged far behind. One of the most worrying findings was that in the UK the younger population fared badly compared to older people (in most industrialised countries younger people do better). This shows a continuing decline rather than improvement in skills.

There have been calls in the last couple of years to ‘toughen up’ the UK system, reintroducing exams and getting rid of coursework in a bid to improve skills. The study throws up a number of questions around testing of children in the education system – because despite a year on year increase in GCSE results between 1997-2010 the study has shown many young adults lack basic skills in key areas.

It’s vital we tackle this issue right now, not only for the future careers of our children but also to put the UK in a strong position in the global workforce.

If your child needs support with basic literacy, numeracy or digital skills then one to one private tutoring with 121 Home Tutors can help. We cover Manchester and Cheshire (Didsbury, Sale, Trafford) – call us today. 

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