Numeracy for 14 to 19-year-olds


GCSE results and international comparisons show that performance in numeracy is lower in Wales than that in the other home nations and below the average for OECD countries. Standards of numeracy as judged in school inspections are also lower than for communication in English and information and communication technology. The number of learners in schools, colleges and work-based learning providers who gain application of number qualifications has increased substantially over the last five years. However, too many of these learners gain qualifications at too low a level relative to their ability. These learners do not improve their numeracy skills by taking qualifications at too low a level. Only a minority of schools plan to develop numeracy systematically across the curriculum. Only a few schools track the progress of pupils in numeracy well enough, including the pupils who previously received support for numeracy in key stage 3. Around a half of the schools surveyed do not provide specific support for learners with poor numeracy skills in key stage 4. Although schools assess pupils’ numeracy skills, they do not share this information well enough when their learners attend courses at college or other providers. Further education colleges and work-based learning providers assess the level of learners’ numeracy skills at the start of courses. They generally use this information well to identify whether learners need basic support. As a result, many learners have individual learning plans and benefit from a range of support strategies. However, providers often enter learners for key skills qualifications only at the level needed to complete their framework qualification aim and do not challenge learners to achieve beyond this level

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