Numeracy and mathematics

Mathematics is important in our everyday life, allowing us to make sense of the world around us and to manage our lives. Using mathematics enables us to model real-life situations and make connections and informed predictions. It equips us with the skills we need to interpret and analyse information, simplify and solve problems, assess risk and make informed decisions.

Mathematics plays an important role in areas such as science or technologies, and is vital to research and development in fields such as engineering, computing science, medicine and finance. Learning mathematics gives children and young people access to the wider curriculum and the opportunity to pursue further studies and interests.

Being numerate helps us to function responsibly in everyday life and contribute effectively to society. It increases our opportunities within the world of work and establishes foundations which can be built upon through lifelong learning. Numeracy is not only a subset of mathematics; it is also a life skill which permeates and supports all areas of learning, allowing young people access to the wider curriculum.

Practical support and resources

National Improvement Hub Summary Page: This page provides a summary of all information, resources, and exemplification relating to numeracy and mathematics. Designed to provide teachers and practitioners with access to key information, resources and policies in order to support improvement planning and professional development in numeracy and mathematics.

Numeracy professional learning resources: A suite of six professional learning papers, together with an accompanying guidance document and glossary, designed to support improved learning and teaching of numeracy in the Broad General Education.

Numeracy and Mathematics Professional Learning Community: provides access to a secure online area which provides a wealth of professional learning for a wide range of aspects related to numeracy and mathematics. It includes links to resources supporting effective learning and teaching across the broad general education and the senior phase. All Education Scotland resources for numeracy and mathematics can be accessed here. A Glow practitioner log-in is required.

Events and activities

Maths Week Scotland runs each year during the autumn term. Experience the benefits, joy and beauty of maths in exciting new ways by participating in this yearly event which has the aim of helping Scotland transform into a maths-positive nation.

National Numeracy Day runs each year in May. It aims to provide parents, carers and teachers, with practical strategies to build their own confidence with numbers and to enable them to better support children with maths.

Key documents

Experiences and outcomes


Principles and practice documents

Multiplying skills, adding value: national thematic inspection

National Qualifications

Visit the SQA website for latest support for Mathematics and Applications of Mathematics.