Transforming Scotland into a Maths Positive Nation


The final report from the Making Maths Count group can now be accessed here:

Making Maths Count Final Report

Have a look at this previous post for more information on the Making Maths Count group:

Making Maths Count Interim Report

These are the ten recommendations from the findings of the research:

Recommendation 1

The Scottish Government should work with partners to commission a sustainable culture change strategy for Making Maths Count.

The strategy should:

  • create greater enthusiasm for maths as a vital life skill amongst children and young people, parents and carers and the wider public; and
  • promote the value of maths as an essential skill for every career and an economic imperative if Scotland is to compete internationally.

The strategy should be appropriately funded and have a strong focus on communications and improving public access to a range of maths information and resources including those for family learning.

Recommendation 2

The Scottish Government should work with partners to develop jointly and fund a Maths Week Scotland which brings together events across the country with online and hands-on experiences for young people, their parents and carers and the wider public.


Recommendation 3

Each local authority should develop and implement a strategy to ensure that all schools and nurseries engage with parents, employers and others in their local communities to help children and young people develop greater awareness of the importance of maths to everyday life and future jobs.

Education Scotland and local authorities should collaborate to share and disseminate good practice.

Recommendation 4

All schools and nurseries should use a wide range of effective learning and teaching approaches to promote positive attitudes and develop high expectations, confidence and resilience in maths.

Recommendation 5

Education Scotland should evaluate the quality of children’s and young people’s learning experiences and attainment in maths and share examples of good practice.

Recommendation 6

The GTCS, in partnership with Initial Teacher Education Institutions, Education Scotland and local authorities, should undertake research on how well ITE students are being prepared to teach maths as newly qualified teachers. The research should include a review of:

  • Minimum entry requirements to ITE for Maths.
  • Other means of ensuring applicants have good quality maths skills, e.g. online testing of applicants’ numeracy skills.
  • The extent to which there is sufficient coverage of maths in primary ITE programmes to allow meaningful, quality maths learning in primary schools.
  • The means by which ITE institutions continuously update and improve their programmes and provide a practical focus on teaching and learning styles that instils teacher confidence in delivering maths.
  • The extent to which the probationary year promotes good quality teaching and learning styles and improving confidence in maths.


Recommendation 7

All sectors of education should promote access to high-quality career-long professional learning (CLPL) to increase staff confidence and enhance professional practices in teaching maths to children, young people and adult learners. Each local authority should design, implement and evaluate the impact of a CLPL strategy for teachers and community learning staff to develop their professional practices in teaching maths.

Recommendation 8

Schools supported by the Attainment Scotland Fund as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge should increase their focus on raising attainment in numeracy and include parental engagement as part of their plans.

Recommendation 9

To help raise Scotland’s skills base and promote our economic competitiveness, Skills Development Scotland, Education Scotland, Scottish Funding Council and other relevant partners should work with employers, colleges and schools to develop an action plan for improving maths skills for employment. This should include a focus on adult learners both as workers and parents. One approach could be to commission an online tool and associated in-work support to help adults test and improve their maths skills. As well as those in work, the action plan should also consider support for those seeking work.

Recommendation 10

The network of Developing the Young Workforce Regional Groups should be asked to contribute to the development and implementation of the action plan proposed in recommendation 9 in relation to school/employer engagement to promote maths as an essential skill for employment. This should cover primary as well as secondary schools.


Some very interesting recommendations, and it is fantastic to see that our Highland Numeracy Strategy already aims to address lots of these points!

I would also just like to draw your attention to the children’s suggestions for making them more enthusiastic about maths, which included:


 More fun/understanding/enthusiastic teachers.
 Teachers who enjoy maths,
 Making maths more fun/interactive/interesting, playing games, competitions,
working in groups, peer-to-peer learning opportunities
 Relating maths to everyday life and future jobs
 Classes at the right level (harder questions, more challenging maths, easier
 More positive attitude towards maths
 Provide more information to parents

It is wonderful to see we are on the right steps with the Highland Numeracy approach – every day in my work with schools I am now seeing children who LOVE maths thanks to enthusiastic, skilled teachers who make maths a fun and positive experience with challenge and support wherever needed!

Please send your comments – it would be great to hear your thoughts on any aspect of this report and how these recommendations apply to us in Highland.



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3 Responses to Transforming Scotland into a Maths Positive Nation

  1. Mr Cook says:

    Thanks for this, Kirsten – I love the children’s responses! ☺


  2. Pingback: Transforming Scotland into a Maths Positive Nation — Highland Numeracy Blog | Drakies Primary School

  3. Pingback: Meaningful contexts matter! | Highland Numeracy Blog

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