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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Times tables 'must be memorised by age 11'

Every pupil in England will be expected to have memorised their times tables before leaving primary school, under new government plans.

These will also see new tests of multiplication skills at the age of 11.

The checks will be piloted to around 3,000 pupils in 80 primary schools this summer, before being rolled out across the country in 2017.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said maths was a non-negotiable aspect of a good education.

Pupils will be expected to know all tables up to 12x12, with the skill measured using an "on-screen check" examination that will see children complete multiplication challenges against the clock, which will be scored instantly.

The Department for Education says it is the first use of on-screen technology in National Curriculum tests.
Teacher scrutiny

Mrs Morgan has also said teachers will also be judged by the results of the tests.

She said: "Since 2010, we've seen record numbers of 11 year olds start secondary school with a good grasp of the three Rs. But some continue to struggle.

"That is why, as part of our commitment to extend opportunity and deliver educational excellence everywhere we are introducing a new check to ensure that all pupils know their times tables by age 11.

"They will help teachers recognise those pupils at risk of falling behind and allow us to target those areas where children aren't being given a fair shot to succeed."

In 2015, 80% of Year 6 pupils achieved Level 4 in maths, reading and writing, up from 78% last year.

But Labour says standards are being threatened by a shortage of teachers, and in the past some teaching unions have warned additional tests can place unwelcome pressure on teachers and pupils.

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