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Combined Authority have secured c.£4 million to improve adult numeracy


Combined Authority have secured c.£4 million to improve adult numeracy

CAMBRIDGESHIRE and Peterborough Combined Authority have secured £3,999,186 from the Department of Education’s Multiply programme. The objective of Multiply is to improve the levels of functional numeracy in adults. The aim is to increase participation in numeracy activities, overcome ‘maths phobia’ and create new and innovative methods of engagement in maths.

The Combined Authority Board voted unanimously (31st August 2022) to approve the programme, which will see the grant funding pulled down from the Department of Education over a three-year period.

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “This is a significant amount of money which will have a big impact on our region. Research has shown that in Fenland and Peterborough, less than half of residents were estimated to have numeracy skills above entry level.* This can be a significant barrier to those accessing higher skilled, better paid jobs. The Multiply programme will address these inequalities.
“As the cost-of-living crisis intensifies, it is imperative we do all we can to give people the skills to secure higher salaries in the workplace. The addition of Multiply to the Combined Authority’s Adult Education Budget will bolster that support.”

The c.£4 million will be used to deliver the following:
• Courses designed to increase confidence with numbers for those needing the first steps towards formal numeracy qualifications.
• Courses designed to help people use numeracy to manage their money.
• Courses delivered together with employers to cover specific numeracy skills required in the workplace.
• Level 2 Maths courses.
• Courses for parents wanting to increase their numeracy skills to help their children and help with their own maths progression.
• Courses aimed at prisoners, those recently released from prison or on temporary licence to support rehabilitation.
• Courses aimed at those 19 or over that are leaving, or have just left, the care system.

In addition to the suite of programmes to be offered, funding will also be used to train teachers to deliver the courses, develop a maths champions and communications campaigns that tackle “maths phobia”.

*54% of Fenland residents and 51% of Peterborough residents were estimated as having a numeracy skills level of entry level and below. Source: Multiply Appendix 2: CPCA Numeracy Data Slides