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NAHT has ‘significant concerns’ about plans for primary times tables tests

Today (Tue 2 Apr) the government has announced a new multiplication tables test which they say will ensure children in primary school know their times tables up to 12 off by heart. 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said: “It is helpful for children to know their times tables – a quick recall of tables helps with more complicated mathematical problem solving. However, schools already teach and assess times tables – this test is unnecessary and won’t tell them anything that they don’t already know.

“NAHT believes that another statutory test, adding to the testing burden in schools and potentially adding to workload, is totally unnecessary.

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 have also discussed their concerns about access arrangements for children with SEND, as well as the impact of the test on teacher workload. 

Whilst we are clear that we do not support the new times tables test, 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 DfE and Standards and Testing Agency (STA).

In order to gather this evidence from members, NAHT is developing a survey which will be made available in June. 

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

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