Is numeracy a thing of the past?

More than half of young teenagers risk being cheated out of their change – or the best value on the shelf – because they can’t do the necessary mental arithmetic when they are shopping. 

That’s the conclusion of a survey of 2000 Year 8 and 9 pupils, which asked them how much change they would expect to receive from £100 if they spent £64.23.

Just 48 per cent got the answer right – and 26 per cent were more than £1 out in their answer.

The research, carried out for Nationwide Building Society, showed that, in addition to struggling with change, 59 per cent could choose the best value supermarket multibuy when faced with three choices.

And when it came to a choice of three phone packages, 71 per cent couldn’t pick the cheapest option.

The research was carried out as part of the launch of a new four-year programme, Talking Numbers, which is designed to improve the everyday number skills of young people.

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