GCSE maths: Majority of British parents struggling to help children with homework

Findings from startling poll lead campaigners to now dub the phenomenon 'mathsiety'

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Friday 27 May 2016 13:39 BST
Could You Answer This GCSE Maths Question

Millions of British parents are struggling to help their teenage children with GCSE maths homework, a startling new study has revealed.

As 15 and 16-year-olds across the nation become immersed in their GCSEs, it seems parents throughout the land are not much help, with 60 per cent telling a poll they’re unable to help their children with maths quizzes.

Meanwhile, a further 55 per cent of adults have admitted to being unable to answer sample GCSE questions.

The study has been carried out by Your Life - a campaign which aims to get more children doing A-level maths and physics - which surveyed 2,000 adults via OnePoll in May.

The poll found that, when testing their everyday maths skills, a staggering 90 per cent of respondents “struggled.” The findings have led the campaign to now dub the phenomenon “mathsiety,” with 18 per cent of Brits avoiding maths of any kind because of lack of confidence.

Test your GCSE maths skills:

Just one in ten women consider themselves to have strong maths skills, compared with one in five men.

When asked to convert currency, just half of respondents managed to answer correctly, with the remaining 49 per cent struggling to calculate how much interest savings would accrue in a year.

Four in five of those surveyed said they rely on a calculator when doing sums, and six in ten expressed regret for not making more of an effort to get better at maths when they were at school.

GCSEs are taken by 15 and 16-year-olds to mark their graduation from the Key Stage 4 phase of secondary education in the UK, except Scotland.

Students must pass GCSE Maths

Edwina Dunn, Your Life chair, said there is “a worrying” lack of confidence when it comes to maths skills. She added: “As a nation, this is a huge challenge, especially as employers are increasingly looking for people with mathematical prowess.

“It seems to be hardwired into our culture. We would never admit to being illiterate, so why do we seem to be happy to shrug our shoulders when it comes to numbers? It is a collective challenge for us as, a nation, to shake off this attitude, particularly for the next generation, whom are currently sitting exams.”

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