Pupils aged 11 will be expected to know their tables up to 12×12, and will be tested using an “on-screen check.” The checks will be piloted to about 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. The “on-screen check” examination will involve children completing 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.
Ms Morgan has also said teachers will be judged by the results of the tests, “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.