Government trials times tables test for eight-year-olds despite opposition from teacher unions and parents.

The Independent reports that thousands of eight and nine-year-olds in England will trial a controversial new times tables test this spring despite opposition from teaching unions and parents.

Ministers announced plans to introduce a multiplication check for Year 4 pupils in autumn last year, following a review of primary school assessment. 

And today the Department for Education (DfE) has said it will trial the check – which will be made compulsory in 2020 – this spring with around 7,250 pupils in almost 300 primary schools in England.

Ministers argue that the check will help children to know their times tables off by heart before starting secondary school – but critics say primary school pupils are already over tested. 

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: “Although school results won’t be published, this government test will be scrutinised by Ofsted when they visit and therefore become even more significant.”

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), added that: “The test will tell teachers nothing they don’t already know, will disrupt teaching and simply reflects a ministerial obsession with testing children.”

The check will last a maximum of five minutes and allow teachers to monitor a child’s progress, the DfE has said

Read more Government trials times tables test for eight-year-olds despite opposition from teacher unions and parents.

Do you teach year 4, what do your think of the additional tests? A help or a hindrance?  Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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