YOUNGSTERS will be number-crunching in schools across Hampshire this week as part of a national drive to improve numeracy skills.

Maths Week is an initiative aimed at getting youngsters engaged in maths and numeracy with the hope of continuing to learn the skills as they go through school and later life.

Pupils at Springhill Primary School in Southampton will be throwing themselves into the initiative by taking part in a whole week of maths-based activities that have been organised by staff.

Everything from PE to art lessons are being themed around maths and numeracy as part of the dedicated maths week.

Youngsters were even encouraged to wear odd socks to school to illustrate learning ‘odd and even’ numbers.

It comes as Hampshire MP Caroline Dinenage launches a new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy which was set up in light of last year’s OECD figures, which showed that 8.5 million adults in England and Wales have numeracy skills weaker than the average ten-year-old.

The aim of the group is to raise awareness about the importance of basic maths skills and to inform policy on improving adult numeracy and the future teaching of maths in schools.

The group will be launched by Education Minister Liz Truss.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: “Not only are basic maths skills essential to our daily lives, they are also essential to Britain’s economic prosperity.

"If the UK is to be successful in the global race, it is essential that we take action to tackle this problem and raise the mathematical ability of people of all ages.”

Liz Truss said: “Maths is a vital subject for our children to master and for our country’s prosperity – maths qualifications command the highest earnings premium and are the best protection against unemployment.

"We have instigated a top-to-bottom overhaul of the subject so that all the way from the start of primary school through to 18 our young people have the best chance to succeed in maths.”