Families would get better shopping deals & higher wages if kids do maths for longer, says Rishi Sunak

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on ending the "anti-maths mindset" in an effort to boost economic growth, on April 17, 2023 in London, England. Sunak is re-launching his plan to make maths education compulsory until the age of 18. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

MORE maths will help kids earn better salaries and find the best discounts, Rishi Sunak insisted today.

Delivering a speech in North London, the PM hyped up his major plan to make numeracy compulsory for all pupils up to age 18.

Rishi Sunak insisted today that kids who do more maths will boost their future salary potential

But not everyone will have to take the subject for A-Levels.

Mr Sunak argued studying maths for longer will make youngsters more attractive to employers.

“We know the benefits of maths for employability and earnings,” he said. 

“Even just basic numeracy skills can increase your earnings by around £1,600 a year.”

The PM added that in the cost of living crisis, better numeracy skills will help households locate the best discounts.

“Think about the cost of living, how important it is right now to understand what discounts are available,” Mr Sunak said.

“And the same is true in all our daily lives, from managing household budgets to understanding mobile phone contracts or mortgages.”

The PM also insisted the economy would be boosted by tens of billions if Brits were better at sums.

And he warned the nation’s “anti-maths mindset” risks damaging growth.

After receiving backlash, Mr Sunak clarified new maths rules WON’T mean everyone will have to take the subject for A-Level – instead a “new qualification” for 16 to 18-year-olds will be introduced. 

A panel of boffins have been recruited to draw up a curriculum ahead of a nationwide rollout.  

The PM said: “We’ve got to change this anti-maths mindset.

“We’ve got to start prizing numeracy for what it is – a key skill every bit as essential as reading.

“I won’t sit back and allow this cultural sense that it’s ok to be bad at maths to put our children at a disadvantage.”

The UK is one of the least numerate among developed nations and a staggering eight million adults have maths skills below those expected of a nine-year-old. 

Labour hit back at the PM’s plans today, warning a failure to recruit enough teachers means Mr Sunak’s idea does not add up.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Once again, the Prime Minister needs to show his working: he cannot deliver this reheated, empty pledge without more maths teachers.

“But after thirteen years of failing our children, the Tory government repeatedly misses their target for new maths teachers, with maths attainment gaps widening and existing teachers leaving in their droves.”

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