New family numeracy pathfinder project

23rd January 2014

NIACE is working with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation on a two year programme to develop and pilot new and engaging ways of delivering family numeracy programmes, underpinned by new technology.

Carol Taylor, Director of Development and Research at NIACE, said:

“There is growing concern about the number of adults with poor numeracy, and a worry, as highlighted in the PISA report where it was clear that that many children are leaving school with poor maths skills. NIACE is interested in the familial element to this – that families may develop cultures of being scared of maths, or of thinking maths is not for them. This project, working with adults and children in family settings, will address the issue and enable parents to both improve their own skills and to support their children’s maths development.”

The project will support six pilots, five in England and one in Wales, each in a different area and with a different partner. A family numeracy provider in each pilot area will work in partnership with a community organisation in order to engage new learners, targeting families that are hardest to reach with the lowest levels of numeracy skills. Partner organisations will include libraries, museums, sport and health organisations, CABs and housing associations.

The pilots will develop engagement programmes using new technologies and adopting a ‘flipped’ classroom model – a blended learning approach where learners work on small research projects at home and are also supported by face to face teaching to consolidate learning. Online toolkits will be produced to support the new approaches, including teaching and learning resources, as well as strategic guidance for local providers.

Carol Taylor continued:

“We’re delighted to be taking this project forward on behalf of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and it will be well-supported by a range of other Family Learning work that we’re already undertaking at NIACE. This includes the ongoing roll out of policy messages reflecting the findings of our recent Inquiry into Family Learning in England and Wales, our work on adult numeracy including the development of the Maths Everywhere app, the suite of family learning resources we’ve developed with CBeebies, as well as the servicing of the National Family Learning Network and Family Learning Local Authority Group.”