Times tables tests put on hold as new education secretary takes over

No requirement to test children on multiplication tables next year

The times tables tests for Year 6 pupils will not be introduced next year as originally planned, it has been confirmed.

Pupils are expected to know all tables up to 12 x 12 under the national curriculum, and the tests, proposed as part of the Year 6 Sats tests, were due to begin in 2017.

The Department for Education has written to schools saying there will be “no statutory requirement” on schools to administer the multiplication tables check in the 2016 to 2017 academic year. It has not made any statement about the following year.

The DfE has also reconfirmed that the proposed Year 7 resits will not begin next year. The resits are expected to be consulted upon next term and begin in the 2017/2018 academic year.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT headteachers union, tweeted his view on the tests.

@PXEducation every pupils should master their times tables, definitely. We don’t need another high stakes acct measure to ensure it.

— Russell Hobby (@russellhobby) 14 July 2016

The news came as Justine Greening took over the post of education secretary from Nicky Morgan.

The future of primary assessment will be one of the most pressing issues for Ms Greening after the rocky introduction of new tests this year

A DfE spokesperson said: “As part of our routine communications with schools we reiterated previous communications that the planned multiplication check and Year 7 resits will not be introduced as a statutory requirement in the next academic year.

“We will continue to engage with the sector regarding the plans and provide more detail in due course.”

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