Blog Post

Unveiling the Numbers: Tackling Maths Anxiety in Education


Mathematics, often considered as the universal language, has unfortunately become a source of anxiety for many individuals, especially among the younger generation. Recent studies reveal startling statistics, shedding light on the prevalence of maths anxiety and its impact on both students and parents. 

In Britain, it’s disheartening to learn that 1 in 10 children aged 8-13 struggle with math anxiety. The very subject that should empower young minds becomes a source of stress for a significant portion of our future leaders. 

Parents, often considered the primary support system for their children’s education, are not exempt from the grip of maths anxiety. A surprising 1 in 3 parents feel unequipped to teach basic maths without relying on calculators. Even everyday tasks, such as splitting a bill, pose a challenge for around 40% of parents.  

Delving deeper into parental fears, 1 in 6 parents admit to harbouring a genuine fear of numbers, clinically known as arithmophobia. This fear can inadvertently pass down to their children, perpetuating a cycle of maths anxiety through generations. 

The educational journey doesn’t necessarily alleviate this anxiety. Shockingly, 26% of graduate students lack basic numerical skills essential for daily life and work. The education system, it seems, has yet to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.  

As we focus back on a younger demographic, 36% of 15-24 year olds in the UK confess to feeling anxious about maths. This trend suggests that the issue persists into higher education and the workforce, potentially hindering career prospects and overall well-being. 

The gender disparity in maths anxiety is also noteworthy. The data suggests women are more than twice as likely to experience anxiety about numeracy than their male counterparts. This highlights a gendered aspect to maths education that continues to demand attention and reform. 

Addressing maths anxiety requires a collective effort from educators, parents, and policymakers. By fostering a positive and supportive math learning environment, we can empower future generations to embrace the beauty and importance of mathematics without the burden of anxiety. 

In conclusion, these statistics serve as a wake-up call for educators and parents alike. We need to continue to reevaluate how we approach maths education, ensuring that it not only imparts knowledge but is also rooted in building confidence and a love for problem-solving in the minds of our young people. 

(Stats taken from National Numeracy)

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