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Being numerate and understanding when and where to use maths is a vital part of being able to function as citizens, parents, employers or employees and entrepreneurs. NIACE is a firm believer in independent inquiries as a way of taking stock and therefore established an independent Inquiry into Adult Numeracy in April 2010 and invited evidence from a wide range of individuals and organisations from education and wider social policy areas to explore why, despite the successes of a range of government and other initiatives, progress in numeracy lags behind that in literacy. We heard comments, read papers and listened to debates on the role of numeracy in society, on what kinds of numeracy we need as a society, and on how best to inspire and support adults to become more numerate. Through this process we consulted with teachers, learners, employers, employer organisations, unions and unionlearn, charities and third sector organisations as well as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
This report makes it clear that having a successful approach to numeracy is of fundamental importance to this country and sets out a package of recommendations which we believe would have a major positive impact, and we hope that government, funders, infrastructure bodies and providers will respond positively to it.