GIRLS in Dorset are falling behind their male counterparts in maths performance, according to recent data.

According to the latest statistics, only 66 per cent of girls achieved the expected standard in maths.

This is six per cent below the national average.

In contrast, 70 per cent of boys in Dorset met the standard, though still trailing the national average by 3 per cent.

Amanda Davis, corporate director for education and learning said: "Nationally, girls already face challenges in maths, and we want to do something to support our girls in Dorset.

"Although the stats are a worry, evidence shows that we can close the gap with concerted effort.

"I'm aware of lots of brilliant maths teaching and learning going on in Dorset schools, and we are working together to improve on that great practice.

"It would be great to see our girls start to imagine themselves as future scientists and mathematicians and I'm certain we can get there."

In a bid to tackle the gender disparity in maths achievement, Dorset Council is providing support to parents to enhance their maths skills so they can support their children better with their learning.

Weymouth College is key to this effort by offering free 'Multiply' training to parents who wish to strengthen their own maths proficiency.

This resource is available to any adult living in the Dorset Council area who did not achieve a grade C (or above) or equivalent in maths.

The five-week training for parents is flexible, offering both online and in-person options.

They also have training available for school support staff who didn't achieve a grade C and would like a boost in their confidence with maths.

Training has also been made available to schools in the county, for those wishing to receive specialised training to help girls perform better in maths.

In the coming months, training will also be made available to early years childcare providers.

Cllr Byron Quayle, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education and early help said: "We are deeply committed to ensuring that every child in Dorset has the opportunity to excel in mathematics. These statistics are a wake-up call, and we must act swiftly to improve math outcomes across the board."

Parents in the Dorset Council area who would like to sign up for the training can do so by emailing: