Sorting by


Primary school children to be taught about bank accounts under Labour’s maths plan

Primary school children will be taught to manage their household budgets, exchange currencies and rank their favourite football teams under Labour’s plans to roll out “real world” maths teaching if it wins the election.

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow Education Secretary, will unveil Labour’s plans to “bring maths to life” in her keynote speech at the party’s annual conference on Wednesday.

She will pitch it as Labour’s alternative to the Prime Minister’s flagship “maths to 18” policy, which is focused on sixth form pupils and will require all students to take maths until they leave school.

The shadow Education Secretary will say that Labour’s rival scheme would “tackle our chronic cultural problem with maths by making sure it’s better taught at 6, never mind 16”.

Under the plans, Labour would draw up a new curriculum for primary schools in England focused on teaching children “how numeracy is used in the world around them”.

It would see primary school pupils given maths lessons on things like “household budgeting, currency exchange rates when going on holiday, sports league tables and cookery recipes,” Ms Phillipson will announce.

Labour said it would also include bringing elements of financial literacy into maths lessons, such as using bank accounts and Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) to teach children about percentages.

Under the current national curriculum in England, children are taught skills such as multiplication and division as early as Year 1, plus measures to describe and compare different quantities including length, mass, volume, time and money.

Teachers are also advised to use pounds and pence to help children calculate different measures, but there is no requirement to teach financial literacy beyond that – though some schools already choose to do so.

Labour said it would overhaul Rishi Sunak’s existing Expert Advisory Group on Maths to 18 advisory group to instead focus on primary school maths as a “first priority” if it wins the next general election.

i revealed in August that the group had advised the Prime Minister to roll out lessons on taxes and inflation under the scheme, in a bid to ensure maths lessons become more “practical” for pupils.

Labour’s maths plans would hinge on “upskilling” non-specialist primary school teachers with the “right skills and knowledge to deliver high class maths teaching”.

It would fund the scheme through its promise to apply 20 per cent VAT on private school fees within its first year of power if it wins the election, the party hopes will raise £1.7bn to spend on the state school sector.

Ms Phillipson will say: “In every part of our system, in every year of children’s lives, in every corner of our country, we will be the party of high and rising standards.

“I am determined that Labour will bring maths to life for the next generation. I want the numeracy all our young people need – for life and for work, to earn and to spend, to understand and to challenge. I want that to be part of their learning right from the start.”

It comes as both Labour and the Conservatives gear up to make education a key political battleground in the run up to the next general election, expected in autumn 2024.

Mr Sunak announced plans to ditch A-levels in favour of a brand new qualification last week as part of his vision for overhauling the education system in England.

In a keynote speech at the Conservatives’ annual party conference, the Prime Minister said he would combine A-levels with T-levels, the recently-introduced technical qualifications, into a new post-16 education model.

All students in England would be required to take the new Advanced British Standard at 18 under the scheme, which would see students sit exams for five subjects on average, up from the current average of three.

The Government admitted the scheme would require “long-term reform,” and could take around a decade to deliver “in full”.

Experts said both Labour and the Conservatives’ plans would require a significant boost to teacher recruitment and retention, after 39,930 teachers left the sector last year for reasons other than retirement.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said it was important teachers were given the right time and training to implement Labour’s plans for “real world” maths if the party wins the election.

“While this is already a feature of the maths curriculum in many primary schools, we look forward to discussing how this could be developed further,” he said.

“Such a policy must be done with teachers, not to them.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button