National Numeracy Challenge Launch

National Numeracy Challenge Launch

Margaret Middlemass says

‘Please see the message below – as a follow up to the numeracy resolution we took to Mexico and subsequent work, we made a connection with this group as they started up.  I’ve done the challenge and got my Gold, but it may be of interest to other members to have a go and also to see the work being done.’

From: Emma Haydon []
Sent: 06 March 2014 13:02

Subject: Advance notice: National Numeracy Challenge launch next Wednesday

I am writing to tell you about arrangements for the launch of the National Numeracy Challenge next Wednesday, the 12th March. We will be announcing the Challenge to the media that day – and want to make sure that you and colleagues are fully in the know in advance of that. Many of you already are; if so then please consider this ‘belts and braces’.

Along with the information here, there are two options for you to find out more:

  1. Have a go at the Challenge Online itself. Some key points are below my signature block
  2. Have a look at this slideshow on YouTube

The Challenge has an initial target of lifting at least a million people out of poor numeracy over the next five years.  Central to the Challenge is a confidential and supportive website, the Challenge Online, which allows people to check their everyday maths skills through a series of questions mapped against the key components of numeracy. It will lead those who need it towards a programme of personal learning and encourage them to return after this for a further check-up so they can measure progress. Having this ‘distance travelled’ measure is a key element and we will be working with the Behavioural Insights Team to analyse this anonymised data.

Our media launch next Wednesday will be supported by Nationwide Building Society and a number of other public, private and voluntary sector partners. This is the same day as the launch of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Maths and Numeracy, for which we, together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales, are providing the co-secretariat.

We would greatly welcome your early support and would therefore like to invite you and your colleagues to take the Challenge yourselves, or look at this pdf – so that you understand what we are trying to do and feel able to spread the word positively on 12th March and beyond.

Please get in touch with any questions or feedback.

Very best wishes,


Mike Ellicock
Chief Executive

Quote of the month: ‘Good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor healthAndreas Schleicher, Director OECD

twitter: @mikeNatNumeracy
M +44 (0) 7984 137025
T  +44 (0) 1273 915044

National Numeracy, Phoenix House, 32-33 North St., Lewes, E. Sussex BN7 2QJ Registered in England, Company No: 7886294, Charity No: 1145669. Disclaimer: This email is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of National Numeracy. If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error or you do not want to receive future correspondence please notify National Numeracy at

The National Numeracy Challenge key points:


Please have a look around the tabs on the home page, have a go at the ‘Challenge Check-up’ and ideally have a look at some of the learning materials as well – there are around 900 separate resources available at the moment and the stock is increasing.

The key things to bear in mind are:

  1. 1.       The Challenge Online is part of the National Numeracy Challenge – a drive to tackle the major issue of low adult numeracy in the UK. The ‘journey’ that we want to support learners to take is illustrated on the homepage of the Challenge Online. 
  2. 2.       Stage 1 – the Challenge Check-Up – is our assessment. It gauges the user’s current understanding of everyday maths. The questions are adaptive – in other words, if you are answering correctly, then questions get harder, if incorrectly then they get easier.  If you want to replicate the experience of many users, you will need to get some questions wrong! 
  3. 3.       If you succeed in getting almost all of the questions right then you’ll come out at Gold (everyday maths equivalent to Level 2 or A*-C at GCSE or above). This is great but the learning resources within the Challenge Online are not designed for you – the Challenge Online is aimed at the 78% or so of the population who aren’t at this level yet. For those who do get Gold, we are developing a ‘Challenge Champions’ package so that they can help us with our drive to improve the numeracy of others.
  4. If you achieve Silver (equivalent to a low pass at GCSE) or any other level, then you are given a target to work towards (Stage 2), and then ‘led’ through a personalised learning plan with links to learning resources covering the topics you need to work on (Stage 3) – this is the heart of the Challenge Online.
  5. Once you feel ready, you re-take the Check-Up to see if you have reached your target (Stage 4). You then find out your ‘distance travelled’ in terms of both level and ‘raw score’.

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