Maths is more important than English, say schoolchildren


Schoolchildren believe Maths is more important to their education than English, a new survey has revealed.

Of the two core subjects that form the foundation of learning in English schools, numeracy is regarded by pupils as more crucial than literacy.

The research by 'Read for My School' of 8,000 seven to 14-year-olds also revealed that children would be prouder of creating a popular computer game than writing a great book.

The findings of the research highlight even more starkly the importance of inspiring children to keep reading in the digital age.

More than 60 per cent of the 8,000 children questioned thought that Maths was more important than English. Just 21 per cent put English as the most vital lesson.

Science, foreign languages and history made up the remainder of the top five subjects mentioned by young respondents.

Children gave the following answers, when asked what they would be most proud of creating themselves if they had the skills to do it very well:

  • 50 per cent: A great computer game
  • 21 per cent: A great book
  • 14 per cent: A great film
  • 14 per cent: A great song

Only 18% said that the current generation of children read more, a quarter say they see little change, while 57% believe children today read less.

And 40% of teachers think children will be reading even less in 10 years’ time, compared to 20% who predict that children will be reading more in a decade.

Nearly two thirds (64%) of teachers thought that parents are less involved than they were ten years ago in encouraging children to read.

Peter Hughes from Pearson said: “We know that parents can play an important role in encouraging their children to develop a love of reading.  The findings from the Read for My School surveys indicate that there is real concern as parents are finding it harder and harder to provide that support.

“At the same time we hear that computer games and Maths are seen by many children as more valuable than stories and literacy. Given all the benefits that are known to stem from a literate world, it is our responsibility as part of the education community to help schools in their invaluable work to ensure that reading is given more emphasis in children’s lives."

School Leadership Today