UK behind other countries in teaching data analysis, British Academy warns

The report published by the British Academy (BA), entitled ‘Count Us In’, warns that Britain is facing a ‘numeracy crisis’. It outlines that the ability to understand and interpret data is an essential feature of life in the 21st century, and developing these skills is essential for building the UK’s society and economy.

The BA suggests that the government should set out a long-term strategy to transform the quantitate skills of the population. A key part of this strategy, they say, should include ‘improving the quality of quantitate skills teaching in schools and colleges across disciplines’. This should also include keeping the curriculum under constant review and encouraging more young people to study maths until 18.

The foreword to the report states that for the UK to transform into a ‘data-literate nation’, it has to start with the UK’s education systems.

The report reads: “Successive governments have overhauled school curricula, across the UK, in recent years. We recognise the efforts of policymakers in emphasising the importance
of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their reforms.

“However, the task of improving curricula should not be seen as a matter of free-standing changes every few years, but as a structured, long-term project of continuous, strategic review.”

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