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New plans to drive forward improvement in maths and literacy

Cynlluniau newydd i gymell gwelliant mewn mathemateg a llythrennedd

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has today announced details of plans to improve literacy and numeracy, as part of wider efforts to deal with impacts of the Covid pandemic in schools. 

Before the pandemic, Wales was making positive progress in literacy and numeracy. But it’s becoming clear the impacts of the pandemic have undone some of these gains. A recent Welsh Government report on reading and numeracy attainment has detailed some of the impacts.

A new maths plan has been developed aiming to raise standards. New engaging ways of learning will be developed as part of the new curriculum to build the confidence of learners. A new evidence, advice and research group will be established, made up of mathematics specialists from Wales, the UK and from around the world, to provide advice to partners who will create a made-for-Wales professional learning package.

Ysgol Coedcae in Llanelli has developed the teaching of financial literacy in engaging ways.

Education Minister Jeremy Miles visited a maths lesson which focussed on financial education at the school to see first-hand how learners are being taught how to calculate percentages and apply this to calculating payments on loans from high interest loan companies.

Sam Terry, Head of Maths at Coedcae School, said:

“As teachers, we have a duty to prepare and educate young people for a life outside of the classroom, and to provide them with the necessary tools to navigate a world of financial uncertainty. 

“We at Coedcae School are using the new curriculum to create a numerically confident group of learners who can break the cycle of people who claim, 'I can't do maths'.”

The oracy and reading toolkit published earlier this year has been updated to give further clarity on the role of early communication skills and systematic phonics, as proven strategies for developing essential reading skills. The toolkit provides a range of information and resources which will enable schools to develop and embed their own approach to reading and oracy.

Jeremy Miles said:

 “Clear support for our young people in both literacy and numeracy is vital given the ongoing impact of the pandemic, to enable them to gain the full benefits of the curriculum. 

“There is excellent work taking place in schools across Wales such as the financial education lessons I observed at Ysgol Coedcae. Our action plans aim to ensure all learners can benefit from such engaging teaching.”

These plans are part of a wider package of support for schools which has been provided to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, such as the Recruit, Recover and Raise Standards (RRRS) Programme. Recent evaluation of the programme shows the beneficial impact of the funding which has been targeted towards those most impacted by Covid.  This included increasing staff capacity in early years and school settings.

Notes to editors

Evaluation of the Recruit, Recover and Raise Standards (RRRS) Programme

Welsh Government statistical report (23 November) on patterns in attainment in reading and numeracy, using national-level data from personalised assessments.

Written Statement March 2023: Whole School Approach to Oracy and Reading