Here are five detailed reasons why English and maths are so important:
1. Further study opportunities
Many further education and university courses require a good level of English and maths - regardless of the subject. Typically, Level 2 is the minimum required. Level 2 is equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or higher (old grading system A*-C).
2. Employment opportunities
Employers want applied and practical skills including approximation, mental arithmetic, capability with visual data, a solid grasp of units of measurement, the ability to check their own calculations and simple problem-solving. A major survey of skill levels among adults in work found that, for employers, English skills are of greatest concern. In particular communication skills (listening and speaking) such as good writing, spelling, grammar and vocabulary could be improved.
Lack of maths skills is another barrier to employment – people with low maths skills are twice as likely to be unemployed.
Employees who achieve good GCSE grades (Level 2 or equivalent) are likely to be earning at least £2,000 per year more than those who do not.
4. Mental health
There is evidence to suggest that people with higher skills in English and maths have a longer life expectancy. Very recent studies are suggesting an emerging link that people with low levels of English and maths skills are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, specifically social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which often lead to playing truant from school. Crime may become an issue too – 65% of adult prisoners have low maths skills.
With English and maths skills, you can access higher education, gain rewarding employment, earn more and potentially live a longer life.