Add parents to maths equation

Anita Straker and Tim Coulson omit from their blueprint for maths achievement (TES, December 17) a hugely important body of people - parents.

If parents are comfortable with numeracy then children are much more likely to be so also. Direct input from parents into children's learning can raise attainment levels by 15 per cent and one way to help secure this improvement is through the adoption by schools of family numeracy programmes.

These termly courses give parents a vital insight into modern maths strategies, foster confidence in parents to integrate maths into everyday situations and often ignite a spark for adults' further learning, which is good news for both parent and child.

Parents are potential allies in the teaching process, though often frustrated by a lack of knowledge and confidence. Family numeracy (and literacy) programmes can tap into this resource to the benefit of both generations.

David Southworth Skills for life tutor Lancashire college, Chorley

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