4th January 2023

Statement from the Commissioner on today’s speech by the Prime Minister

Responding to today’s speech by Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, setting out his ambitions for all pupils in England to study some form of maths until aged 18, Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, said:

“Having a good grasp on numbers is helpful at all stages of life and can open the door to some fascinating and rewarding careers. In The Big Ask, the largest survey of its kind, children told me how important it is to work hard and get a good job, so I really welcome the ambition in the Prime Minister’s announcement today which acknowledges the life skills that maths provides.

“I want children to recognise the opportunities available to them from a good grounding in maths. Our interactive quiz, launched last year, has been used by thousands of young people to better understand how maths is used in everyday situations and the wide range of careers it supports. We’ve also set a maths challenge for children to encourage them to learn about the world around them by using real data from The Big Ask.”

Our work in this area:

  • Results from The Big Ask were published in September 2021. It is the largest survey of its kind completed anywhere in the world: 557,077 responses from every local authority in the country, children from every ethnic group, age, gender, and from the most deprived neighbourhoods as well as the most affluent.
  • Our interactive resource: ‘Where can I go with maths?’ features more than 50 career profiles of role models using maths or maths skills in their work. It has been developed to show connections and transferable skills between the KS3 maths curriculum, careers, and everyday life.
  • Our data challenge for children using real data from The Big Ask was launched in Maths Week 2022. It is an opportunity for young people to hear what other young people told me about their wellbeing and future priorities. Submissions are open until 10th May 2023.