A maths programme used in Singaporean schools could add hundreds of pounds a year to British students' salaries once they hit the workforce, according to research by the UCL Institute of Education and the University of Cambridge.
The “Maths Mastery” programme focuses on fewer topics but goes into more depth than the programmes used in British schools, and has been shown to improve overall mathematical ability. For years, Singapore has excelled far beyond the UK in terms of maths.
The researchers tested it out in a selection of English schools, and after just one year they could see improvements beyond what was normal for the country.
The impact of higher maths scores at age 10 on salary at ages 26, 30, 34 and 38 was estimated using data from the British Cohort Study, and in all cases the gains made, both for the individual and the economy, far exceeded the cost of implementing the new system in the first place.
Overall, it was found to result in an average wage increase of between £100 and £200 each year once the person began working.
The report suggests adopting the programme nationwide would lead to a good return on investment further down the line.
“Even a small enhancement of maths skills at age 10 yields long-term economic benefits for individuals and the economy,” it says.