CHILDREN could be counting down with Carol Vorderman or thinking of a number with Johnny Ball as the Government enlists celebrities to get Britain excited about maths in the national year of numeracy.
Maths Year 2000 aims to underline the importance of numeracy to everyday life and to get children using sums outside the classroom.
The National Year of Reading put literacy storylines into soap operas, parents were bombarded with adverts urging them to read to their children and there were free film showings for schools and libraries on factory shop floors. The year, which began in September 1998, aimed to put reading at the centre of the nation's culture.
The numeracy year is expected to follow suit. It will kick off in January, and is designed to support the Government's National Numeracy Strategy which starts in schools this September.
The Department for Education's standards and effectiveness unit has advertised for a pound;45,000-a-year project director to start work immediately.
The director will work with celebrities, educationists and industry to win sponsorship and promote maths initiatives.
A Department for Education and Employment spokeswoman said: "Maths Year 2000 is about driving up standards in maths which is something we are committed to. It will be similar to the National Year of Reading."