Scottish Students Failing in Basic Maths According to Scottish Government Survey

Scottish Government Numeracy Report March 2012

According to a survey conducted of S2 students released by the Scottish Government this week, one in three Scottish pupils are under performing in basis maths tasks such as time and money.  Four out of ten could not add numbers in their head and was even worse with subtraction and multiplication.

The survey also revealed that those students living in more affluent areas were twice as likely to do well in numeracy compared to those in poorer areas.  Read full survey results on Scottish Government’s website.

At Primary 4 level the results are much better with only 2% of children not performing at a satisfactory level.  Questions are being asked why there seems to be such a decline in results by S2.

Scottish Government Response

Mike Russell, Education Secretary has responded to harsh criticism by Tory Education Secretary Liz Smith and and Lib Dem Education Spokesman Liam McArthur.  He admitted that “more could be done to improve literacy and numeracy and raise attainment”.  He also defended Curriculum for Excellence stating that “given that we have deliberately raised the bar with CFE – with high standards expected at each level, the strong performance of primary pupils in maths and numeracy is hugely encouraging”.  He also stated that “this high performance must also be sustained and improved through to secondary. The performance results taken from S2 pupils, who were the last cohort of pupils not to benefit from Curriculum for Excellence, shows that more is needed and the link between deprivation and attainment remains too strong.  We knew that more could be done to improve literacy and numeracy .. this is why we introduced the Curriculum”.

Opinion of Kip McGrath Scotland

Having been a teacher for over 40 years, (the past 12 at Kip McGrath Education Centres), it has been apparent for quite some time that numeracy skills have dropped in the children I and my colleagues assess.  Please note that all Tutors at Kip McGrath are fully qualified teachers.

We have still to see how Curriculum for Excellence will make a difference  and with all new curricula, we have to be patient and hope that numeracy levels within our schools improve.

One major concern parents have is that their children are no longer being assessed annually in school and they no longer receive certificates advising which level their child is working at.  Children will be assessed at end of P4 and P7 but sometimes, this is just too late to identify potential problems before High School.

At Kip McGrath, we offer a Free educational assessment of every child by a qualified teacher.  This takes up to one hour.  We will discuss our findings and advise parents any areas of weakness.  Should you and your child feel comfortable and wish to attend, an individual programme of study will be created and the child will attend an 80 minute lesson every week and be regularly re-assessed. Read more about the Kip McGrath Expert Programme.

To find your local Kip McGrath Centre, click on a link on the Right Hand Side or alternatively use our Postcode Finder.

Margaret Carmichael


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