How maths helps

Good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health. Andreas Schleicher, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

A good understanding of everyday maths will help your child with important tasks, such as making decisions and understanding information. It will also help them develop essential lifelong skills such as:

  • Working out how much food is needed for the family meal and following recipes
  • Splitting the bill after a meal out with friends and working out what tip to leave
  • Converting currency rates when abroad
  • Managing personal finances, budgeting and saving
  • Working out which are the best buys in the supermarket, checking change, working out sale price of an item
  • Getting to work on time, estimating how long a journey will take, knowing when to fill up on fuel
  • Planning an outing for the family, packing a lunchbox or suitcase
  • Knowing if the answer on the calculator is reasonable, or if you pressed the wrong button
  • Reading data presented in a variety of forms, such as graphs and tables, scales on a thermometer or weighing scales, and interpreting statistics in the news
  • Working out the odds in sporting events, keeping score in games, knowing what to aim for in order to win
  • DIY jobs such as painting and decorating, or working out how many walls tiles are needed to cover an area.

For everyone, for life

Numeracy skills are vital throughout life. Children who have developed these skills and are confident with maths are more likely to

  • Stay in education longer.
  • Be in work as adults.
  • Earn more throughout their lives.

Maths at work

Maths skills are essential in every career and employers want staff with good skills. As technology continues to evolve, it is more important than ever that we all have the numeracy skills to be able to keep up.

Whatever career path your child chooses, they'll need to be able to use maths every day. Look at BBC Skillswise or our Maths at Work board on Pinterest to see how people in all kinds of careers use maths.