A test to check whether eight- and nine-year-olds know their multiplication tables is being opposed by head teachers.
The government says the on-screen exam, which assesses knowledge of tables up to 12, will last no longer than five minutes. The results will not be published.
But Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, described the proposal as ‘hugely disappointing’.
He said: ‘This test won’t tell teachers and parents anything they don’t already know about their children. A pupil’s primary school years are already cluttered with tests and checks. We want all children to succeed at school, but the answer isn’t to test them more.’
Cynics might suggest the real reason for the heads’ disquiet is that they know the test would be failed dismally. And to resolve that problem, pupils would be forced to spend precious time reciting ‘seven fours are twenty-eight’ when they could be thinking about far more important issues such as gender reassignment.