Primary school tests for times tables are branded a waste by teachers

New primary school tests to measure pupils’ times tables skills are branded a waste of time by head teachers

  • Ninety-four per cent said the tests fail to tell teachers about Year 4 pupils ability 
  • A new tables check will be introduced in June after current ones are a failure
  • Will be 25 questions on computers and children will have six seconds to answer
  • Teachers minister wants them knowing their tables ‘by heart’ when they leave

New primary school tests to measure pupils’ times tables skills have been branded a waste of time by head teachers.

In a survey, 94 per cent of those who took part in a pilot scheme said the tests for Year 4 pupils – set to be introduced next year – fail to tell teachers anything new about the ability of the eight and nine-year-olds.

The Government is launching the multiplication tables check (MTC) in June. It will be conducted using computers or tablets and consists of 25 questions, with pupils given just six seconds to type in each answer.

Ninety-four per cent of head teachers have called current times table tests for Year 4 pupils a waste of time and do not tell them anything new about their ability

Multiplication tables check (MTC) will be introduced in June next year in an attempt to measure pupils times tables skills more accurately than current tests (stock image)

Earlier this year, schools minister Nick Gibb said the tests would ‘make sure all pupils leave primary school knowing their times tables by heart’. 

However, Sarah Hannafin from the National Association of Head Teachers – which surveyed almost 300 members who had taken part in the MTC pilot scheme – condemned the ‘enormous waste of time and effort’ of conducting tests that reveal nothing new about pupils. 

She told Schools Week that children already ‘should, and do, learn their times tables’.

Sarah Hannafin, from the National Association of Head Teachers, has said that children already ‘should, and do, learn their times tables’ but the system needs revising

It will be conducted using computers or tablets and consists of 25 questions. Pupils will have only six seconds to answer the questions (stock image) 

This is after 300 members of the National Association of Head Teachers took the survey and branded the current ones an ‘enormous waste of effort’. They want their pupils to leave school knowing their times tables off by heart (stock image)

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