'Real-world maths': Education charity launches project to improve financial literacy among GCSE students

Financial literacy questions questions make up about a quarter of maths GCSE exam questions Credit: PA

Teaching teenagers "real-world maths" could help them do better in their maths GCSE exams, an education charity hopes.

The Maths in Context programme, which launches today, will test whether setting students questions that test their ability to estimate household bills or calculate the interest due on bank balances will improve their grades.

Example questions include working out the original cost of a television from its sale price, or calculating how much Greg, who earns a percentage commission on the car and home insurance he sells, makes in a month.

Such questions make up about a quarter of the questions in maths GCSE exams, but at present most students do badly in them, achieving only E and F grades, according to the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of EFF, said the project was about equipping students with "practical maths skills".

Most of us would agree that developing a good level of financial literacy is important to success later in life. But many young people are struggling to translate the skills they learn in maths lessons into real-life contexts.

Kevan Collins, EFF chief executive

The trial, one of six supported by EFF, is run by Young Enterprise education and employment charity, and will involve nearly 10,000 pupils at 130 schools across England.