Maths a minefield for South Yorkshire teens

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Many secondary pupils in South Yorkshire are struggling to master simple arithmetic, according to new research - but more than a quarter say they’d prefer to drop GCSE maths if they could.

Twelve to 14-year-olds were asked to calculate how much change they should receive if their supermarket shop cost £64.23.

Only 60 per cent got the answer right and 22 per cent were more than £1 out, the Nationwide Building Society survey found.

In another test 65 per cent failed to select the best value supermarket multibuy when faced with three choices, and 64 per cent were unable to identify the cheapest mobile phone package.

Yet more than a quarter - 26 per cent - of those polled would prefer to drop maths as a GCSE choice if it was not compulsory, increasing their likelihood of leaving school with inadequate maths and numeracy skills.

Nationally 42 per cent of pupils failed in 2013 to achieve at least a grade C in their GCSE maths.

To address the issue the building society has introduced a programme called Talking Numbers, designed to tangibly improve the every day number skills of 200,000 young people over four years.