NAHT does not support the implementation of a multiplication tables check for the whole cohort of pupils at any point in KS2, but ministers are determined to introduce this and the Department for Education is piloting aspects of the test. We believe that it is important to mitigate the negative consequences of this test by influencing its development. We would therefore strongly urge NAHT members to participate in any of the pilot projects if your school is selected.
The schools who will be asked to participate are chosen through a stratified sample and the trialling plans for this year are as follows:
- Technical trial – 20 schools (end of Feb) – to ensure the service is working and collecting data correctly.
- Question timing trial – 40 schools (mid March) – to understand the appropriate timing of key instant recall question for year 4 pupils.
- Technical pre test – 200 schools (June) – item level data exercise for form construction on national rollout.
If your school is involved in any of these, let us know your experiences, comments and feedback. Feedback may be on the test itself, the process, administration and the overall experiences of teachers and children in your school. Please send this to firstname.lastname@example.org.
STA are also keen to hear from any schools with significant broadband or ICT issues and those that have concerns over access arrangements for pupils with SEND. If you have these issues or concerns about your school please contact MTC.STA@education.gov.uk.
NAHT will continue to oppose the implementation of a multiplication tables check and it is hugely disappointing that the government are still intent on its introduction. This won't tell school leaders anything they don't already know about their children and although school results won't be published, the stakes of this test will be raised because Ofsted and regional schools commisioners will have access to the results.