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Multiplication test: update on national voluntary pilot

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NAHT does not support the implementation of a multiplication tables check (MTC) for the whole cohort of year 4 pupils at any point in key stage 2, but ministers are determined to introduce this and the Department for Education (DfE) is pressing ahead with a national voluntary pilot that will run between 10 and 28 June.

NAHT has significant concerns about this test as it 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 will have access to the results.

NAHT’s national executive has also discussed its concerns about access arrangements for children with SEND, as well as the impact of the test on teacher workload.

While we are clear that we do not support the check, our members’ participation in the pilot would enable us to collect evidence about accessibility, the impact of the test on children with SEND, and on teacher workload. It may also provide us with useful information which we can use in our conversation with the DfE and Standards and Testing Agency.

In order to gather this evidence from members, NAHT is developing a survey that will be made available in June. If you do decide to participate in the pilot, we would ask you to complete the survey when it becomes open (you will be sent a link later in the year).

Ahead of the pilot, the school administration area and pupil ‘try it out’ application is now open. This will allow schools to register their pupils for the check, and give pupils an opportunity to try out the check so that they become familiar with the format.

To accompany the familiarisation service going live, MTC administration guidance and an information video have been published. A video is also available demonstrating the MTC access arrangements to help schools understand the accessibility options and support those administering them.

If you have any questions about the MTC, have a look at the MTC information page.

Last updated 05 April 2019