A new drive is to be launched to tackle negative public perceptions of maths.
The Scottish Government confirmed it would act on the ten recommendations of an expert panel set up to look at ways to boost the popularity of the subject.
The Making Maths Count group has called for a government strategy to promote the subject as an essential skill for work, as well as for skills and education bodies to draw up an action plan for improving maths skills for employment.
The group wants a nationwide Maths Week Scotland event and improved professional development to increase staff confidence in the subject.
It has also recommended that schools receiving support through the Government’s Attainment Scotland fund increase their focus on raising attainment in numeracy. Group chair Maureen McKenna, executive director of education in Glasgow, said: “We believe everyone, whatever their circumstances in life, has the ability to become proficient at maths.
“Our research and engagement work with teachers, pupils and the general public shows that the way to achieve this is to make maths more relevant to real life and work and more enjoyable. Our recommendations build upon the best work taking place within Scotland and elsewhere and aim to transform Scotland into a maths-positive nation.”
Education Secretary John Swinney said: “Education is at the heart of this Government’s work and the First Minister reiterated our commitment to closing the attainment gap in last week’s Programme for Government. Improving the numeracy skills of our children and young people is a key part of what we are doing to drive up attainment and today’s report gives us ten clear recommendations which we support and will consider how they can be implemented.
“The recommendations will complement the work we are already undertaking to improve numeracy skills, including increased investment in the Attainment Scotland Fund and our Read Write Count campaign.”
Opposition parties called for the recommendations to be followed through with adequate funding.
Scottish Labour education spokesman Iain Gray MSP said: “These recommendations are very good, especially those around improving teacher training so that all teachers are confident about teaching and promoting maths skills.
“But above all, these recommendations are urgent and must be backed now by resources, not just warm words from ministers.”