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Calls For Extra Effort To Tackle Maths Issue In North Yorkshire

Calls For Extra Effort To Tackle Maths Issue In North Yorkshire

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Stuart Minting at 5:33pm 12th April 2019.

Efforts to improve the teaching of basic maths must be redoubled in a county where students’ lack of numeracy skills is eventually causing issues for employers, a meeting has heard.

North Yorkshire County Council’s young people and overview scrutiny committee heard despite some improvements, more than four in ten of 11-year-olds in some districts met the expected national numeracy and literacy standards.

Councillors were told achieving the expected level or above in reading, writing and maths combined at Key Stage 2 remained “an on-going challenge”.

Last year, 60.6 per cent of pupils in Hambleton, 59.6 per cent in Richmondshire and 56.8 per cent in Scarborough achieve the expected level in reading, writing and maths, whereas Harrogate and Selby districts both saw more than 65 per cent of pupils achieve the standard.

Officers told the meeting the results of tests for 11-year-olds in the county showed reading and writing were in line with national average, but maths was significantly behind.

However, members heard seven-year-old pupils’ performance in maths was only marginally below the national standard, indicating an issue over the teaching of the subject between the ages of seven and 11.

The meeting was told while some schools were struggling to recruit maths teachers, “nothing unique to North Yorkshire” had been identified as the cause of the maths issue.

Officers also dismissed suggestions that the maths issue could be related to the large proportion of smaller junior schools in the county and said their focus was on supporting those schools most in need of improvement, especially in developing skills in the use and application of mathematics at Key Stage 2.

They said the county’s six exemplar teaching schools were being used to guide teaching at schools where attainment was poor.

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