Catherine speaking on a panel with four other participants

Catherine spoke during a panel discussion at the UK’s first Maths Summit, held on Tuesday 12 March at the Science Museum in London. Catherine outlined Labour’s plans for maths education, including how skills gained from maths can help support a stronger democracy and combat conspiracy theories.

Catherine speaking on a panel with four other participants

Catherine speaking on a panel at the Maths Summit

Research shows that more than one in ten maths lessons are being taught by a non-expert maths teacher and 45% of schools report at least some of their maths lessons being taught by non-specialists.

In her speech, Catherine set out Labour’s plan to tackle the problem, which includes the recruitment of over 6,500 new teachers to fill vacancies and examining how bursaries and retention payments are structured to ensure they are having maximum positive impact.

In her speech, Catherine said: “Labour understands that improving teacher quality is essential to improving children’s outcomes so we would recruit over 6,500 new teachers to fill vacancies in our schools and re-establish teaching as a profession that is respected and valued as a skilled job.”

Catherine also used the speech as an opportunity to put forward Labour’s plan for a full curriculum review, which will capitalise on maths’ strengths in developing critical thinking and analytical skills in students. Lessons will be introduced where students will be asked to identify and assess manipulated figures from rogue political actors, encouraging them to combat disinformation online.

Following her speech, Catherine said:

“We know that the skills gained from an excellent maths education, including analytical and logical reasoning, set young people up for a better future with greater life chances.  

“We also know that learning how to assess figures for accuracy and reliability can empower young people to recognise disinformation they see online and encourage them to grapple with the difficult problems facing our society and democracy. 

“That’s why Labour would deliver an excellent foundation in maths education and broaden the curriculum to make maths applicable to young people’s everyday lives, in turn helping to strengthen our national security.”