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“With the right plan – the right commitment to excellence – I see no reason why we cannot rival the best education systems in the world,” Rishi Sunak’s speech read.

All students in the UK will have to study some form of Math till the age of 18, a release from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office read on Wednesday. “Every opportunity I’ve had in life began with the education I was so fortunate to receive,” Rishi Sunak is expected to say in his first speech of the year as he sets out his priorities for 2023.

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Giving every child the highest possible standard of education was “the single most important reason” why Rishi Sunak came into politics. “With the right plan – the right commitment to excellence – I see no reason why we cannot rival the best education systems in the world,” Rishi Sunak’s speech read.

The plan to accomplish reform on this scale will be challenging as around 8 million adults in England have the numeracy skills of primary school children, the Prime Minister’s office said. Currently, only around half of 16-19-year-olds study any Math at all and the problem is particularly acute for disadvantaged pupils, 60 per cent of whom do not have basic Math skills at age 16.

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“One of the biggest changes in mindset we need in education today is to reimagine our approach to numeracy … In a world where data is everywhere and statistics underpin every job, our children’s jobs will require more analytical skills than ever before. And letting our children out into the world without those skills is letting our children down,” Rishi Sunak’s speech read.

The plan to accomplish reform on this scale will be challenging as around 8 million adults in England have the numeracy skills of primary school children, the Prime Minister’s office said. Currently only around half of 16-19 year olds study any Math at all and the problem is particularly acute for disadvantaged pupils, 60 per cent of whom do not have basic Math skills at age 16.

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Additionally, the Prime Minister’s office said that the government does not envisage making Math A-Level compulsory for all 16-year-olds. Further detail will be set out in due course but the government is exploring existing routes, such as the Core Maths qualifications and T-Levels, as well as more innovative options, the statement read.

Wednesday’s speech will be as much a statement of intent as a reply to critics who doubt whether the man, who failed to win against Truss in the Conservative leadership race in September, has what it takes to help the party win the next election. Mr Sunak is also expected to address the UK’s NHS crisis in his speech.

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