The British Academy, Academy of Social Sciences, Royal Statistical Society, Nuffield Foundation and Nesta have today (26 October) urged AQA to reconsider its decision to abandon AS and A-Level Statistics.
Their statement highlights the importance of statistical skills to the UK economy in an increasingly data driven-age, citing figures from the Centre for Business and Economic Research which estimate that 58,000 jobs per year are likely to be created in the ‘big data’ marketplace between 2012 and 2017.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond FBA FAcSS, chair of the High Level Strategy Group on Quantitative Skills, said:
“Statistics and data skills will be crucial to government and business in an increasingly data-driven world. As the British Academy highlighted in its report Count Us In, unless we dramatically improve numeracy skills, the UK risks falling behind in the global race to tap the potential of ‘big data’. Instead of axing this qualification, we should ensure that as many students as possible develop the necessary numerical literacy to survive and thrive in the ‘big data’ economy.”
The organisations also argue that building statistical skills benefits society not just by enhancing research in universities or creating jobs, but also by enabling citizens to fully participate in the UK’s democratic process.
They would welcome an opportunity to discuss with AQA, other awarding organisations, and the Department of Education how to retain Statistics as an A-level subject.
Read the full statement here.