The UK government has recently announced an £18 million package of new measures to help tackle the growing problem of maths difficulties in schools. The plans, championed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, include a new national numeracy programme for primary school pupils and extra support for those with dyscalculia – a condition characterised by difficulty understanding numbers or calculations.
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But while the move is being welcomed as a positive step towards helping children with maths-related difficulties, there are still questions over whether more must be done to ensure all young people have access to the support they need.
For instance, there have been calls for more research into how best to identify and diagnose dyscalculia as early as possible so that interventions can be implemented quickly. There is also a need for more specialist teachers and resources to support those with the condition, as well as better training for mainstream teachers so they can spot signs of dyscalculia more readily.
On top of this, the lack of understanding around dyscalculia means that many young people suffer in silence rather than getting help. In contrast, others are misdiagnosed or not identified until later in life. This must change to ensure no child falls through the cracks in maths education.
Ultimately, while Rishi Sunak’s new plans may be a step in the right direction, there is still much work to do to ensure all children – regardless of their level of understanding of maths – get the support they need. By investing in research, training, and specialist resources, we can ensure no child is left behind in their maths education.
Only then will Rishi Sunak’s plans truly add up for everyone.
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