Pupils to sit times tables check from 2019

The BBC is reporting that Schools Minister Nick Gibb has confirmed that pupils in England will sit a times tables check from 2019.

Multiplication was a “very important” part of a child’s mathematics knowledge, Mr Gibb said. Plans for such a test were in the Conservatives’ election manifesto.

Proposals to test 11-year-olds on their times tables were first announced by former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in January 2016.

However, the move was put on hold when her successor, Justine Greening, said there would be no new national tests or assessments introduced before the academic year 2018-19.

Appearing before the Commons Education Select Committee on Wednesday, Mr Gibb confirmed the times table check would now go ahead. He told MPs: “I think it is an issue of policy. It is my view that there should be a multiplication check.

“It was in our manifesto in 2015. We think times tables are a very important part of mathematical knowledge.”

If a child was trying to perform long multiplication or long division they needed to know their times tables, he added.

The check will be taken by Year 6 pupils in the spring of 2019 – the cohort currently in Year 4 – alongside their national curriculum tests, known as Sats tests.

More at: Pupils to sit times tables check from 2019

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  1. Anonymous

    Gibb has found something else he is capable of understanding then. Even he knows what a multiplication table is and it can be tested with a simple pass / fail test. And kids can be drilled in learning their tables so Gibb can claim another success, just like his phonics test. Meets all of the Gibb criteria then.

  2. Janet Downs

    Just a day after the Education Select Committee recommended a period of stability in schools, Nick Gibb announces another test.
    It could be another dead cat, of course, like the grammar school proposals. While we’re talking about multiplication tests, we’re not discussing inadequate school funding, school place supply, the state of school buildings or recruitment/retention of teachers. http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2017/02/mays-dead-cat-stinks-it-should-be-cremated

  3. For heaven’s sake. What is the point? I don’t know a primary school which does not already have a strong focus on the learning of times tables. Most children will have got good recall by the age of 11 – they don’t need testing. For those who struggle (because, for example, of short -term memory difficulties), having a test hanging over their heads won’t help their recall. And it might even shift their attention and that of their teachers from conceptual mathematical understanding onto mechanical rote learning. Just what the children need.

  4. I’m glad to see that Mr Gibb has a sound rationale for kids having to know their times tables. Clearly the ability to do long multiplication and division is vital for the future prosperity of the country.

    Oh hang on, I’ve just realised it’s not 1950, when every business required rooms full of clerks whose job it was to add, subtract, multiply and divide long lists of numbers. Now all you need is a spreadsheet. Long Multiplication and Division are old technology, made defunct by the appearance of the electronic calculator in the 1980s. Now everybody carries a sophisticated computer all the time, which is more than capable of performing any calculation needed in any foreseeable realistic situation.

    We might as well make kids learn how to maintain steam engines for all the use it is in the real world.

  5. I wonder whether he is talking about the times tables up to 12x, in which case he really is in the pre decimal era. It is useful to know basic multiplication facts but probably far more useful to know that multiplying by 8 can be done by doubling and doubling again, etc.

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