Numeracy decline sparks concern

A sharp decline in numeracy among Scottish primary pupils, along with a lack of progress in the early years of secondary, has sparked concerns among opposition politicians and teaching unions about the state of the new curriculum.

Scotland’s second National Numeracy Survey, which involved 10,561 pupils, showed that the percentage of children in the fourth year of primary who were performing either “well” or “very well” fell to 69 per cent in 2013 from 76 per cent in 2011.

In P7 the same category dropped to 66 per cent from 72 per cent, and in secondary the percentage of pupils deemed to be doing “well” or “very well” was unchanged over the two surveys at only 42 per cent.

The survey has confirmed two trends: a widening of the attainment gap between children from wealthier and poorer areas of Scotland, and a fall in achievement levels once pupils start secondary school.

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