Since being appointed apprenticeships and skills minister, Anne Milton has made no bones about the value of literacy and numeracy for young people. Back in 2018, for instance, she told an interviewer that "maths and English are very important". She has also overseen the reform of functional skills qualifications in literacy and numeracy.
Unfortunately for her, in taking to Twitter this morning to mark National Numeracy Day and emphasise the importance of the latter, the minister inadvertently betrayed an apparent lack of skills in the former. Either that or it was a rather embarrassing typo.
“Its national numberacy [sic] day so test how good you are at numbers,” she wrote. “It’s never too late to improve your skills."
Its national numberacy day so test how good you are at numbers. It’s never too late to improve your skills #nationalnumeracyday— Anne Milton MP (@AnneMilton) May 15, 2019
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'Good job it's not national literacy day'
Where to start? As if the misspelling of "numeracy" weren't embarrassing enough, Milton also risked the ire of grammar pedants by omitting an apostrophe from "its". Cringe. As one wag tweeted in response: “Good job it's not national literacy day Anne.”
One would hope it’s not too late for the minister to brush up on her own skills either. Might FErret be bold enough to suggest that a GCSE English resit might be in order?
In all seriousness, though, National Numeracy Day is an initiative to highlight the "important part numbers play in everyday life, helping people to sharpen their number skills and build their confidence". An undeniably important mission. You can find out more here. Hopefully, the minister will forgive FErret's mischief-making as a way of raising awareness of the campaign.
Thankfully, Ms Milton does seem to have seen the funny side. Shortly afterwards, she sent out another tweet stating: "National Spelling Day is coming up soon!"
National Spelling Day is coming up soon! National Numeracy Day - take the test, see how good you are at numbers! #NationalNumeracyDay— Anne Milton MP (@AnneMilton) May 15, 2019