A NEW £1.5 million pound initiative which aims to help people of all ages improve their numeracy skills has been launched.

Essex County Council's The Essex Year of Numbers scheme is being rolled out in an effort to help close the “numeracy gap” for the disadvantaged.

Over the next twelve months, the council will be organising interesting events and activities which will help children and adults improve their numeracy skillset.

Operated by the council’s Essex Education Task Force, the organisation is hoping to tackle the short and long-term impacts in education which occurred from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the activities include an educational workshop which will implement building with Lego to learn about numeracy and a library-based session where children will be able to learn about maths and science.

The scheme will also see a Ministry of Defence STEM project rolled out across 26 schools which will involve coding, while 215 junior schools will combine the sport of cricket with maths.

Adults will also be able to enrol on the multiply programme, which offers free maths courses, and there will also be other funded opportunities throughout the year.

Councillor Tony Ball, cabinet member for education excellence, lifelong learning and employability said: “Numbers are absolutely fundamental to successful futures.

“The Essex Year of Numbers aims to close the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children with the opportunities, tools and robust support to help everyone thrive in numeracy.

“It will improve teacher and parent confidence in maths through a range of programmes and make a real difference to the future of all children in Essex."

The new project has been launched after evidence provided by the charity National Numeracy showed how having a low level of numeracy skills can be linked to debt, unemployment, and poor health.

“It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that numbers are just about managing money," added Mr Ball.

"But from DIY jobs to cooking, these skills play an enormous role our everyday life.”

If you are a teacher, industry partner, or organisation in Essex, you can propose and submit further ideas for the initiative by emailing essex.yearofnumbers@essex.gov.uk.