Maths For All - The Importance Of Maths Literacy


The A-Level system is not fit for purpose. How can the UK hope to compete economically in a data driven world when half of our young people give up all maths at the age of 16. We need a broader, more balanced education system, that includes some maths - but not A-level - for all to 18. That is how we will address skills gaps and deliver a workforce that is better prepared for the good, well-paid jobs of the future. While reforming the education system is challenging, it is necessary and politicians who fail to grasp the nettle are failing our young people.


Sir Adrian Smith PRS became President of the Royal Society in 2020. He is a mathematician with expertise in Bayesian statistics and his comprehensive publications on diverse areas of Bayesian statistics have had a major impact on statistical practice in a wide range of disciplines and application areas.

Adrian is Chair of the Board of the Diamond Light Source. Between 2008-2012, he was Director General, Knowledge and Innovation in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and has previously worked with the UK Higher Education Funding and Research Councils. He was a board member of the UK Atomic Energy Authority from 2016 to 2022 and in 2017 he carried out a review of the maths curriculum for 16-18 year olds for the Treasury and Department for Education.

He recently stepped down as Institute Director and Chief Executive of The Alan Turing Institute. In the 2011 New Year Honours list, he was awarded the title of Knight Bachelor.