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Times Tables

Volume 618: debated on Monday 19 December 2016

13. By what age pupils are expected to know the times tables up to 12; and what proportion of children of that age in (a) Northamptonshire and (b) England know those times tables. (907955)

The new national curriculum that came into force in September 2014 expects every pupil to know their multiplication tables to 12 times 12 by the end of year 4.

Well done! We have strengthened primary maths assessment to prioritise fluency in written calculation and we have removed the use of calculators from key stage 2 tests.

We have not made an assessment of the proportion of children in Northamptonshire or England who know their multiplication tables by heart, but we have pledged to introduce a multiplication tables check for primary school pupils in England to ensure that every child leaves primary school fluent in their times tables up to and including 12 times 12, which, as my hon. Friend the Member for Lichfield (Michael Fabricant) says, is 144.

Does the Minister agree that learning the times tables is an absolutely essential part of success at maths? What is the Government’s official view on the best way for times tables to be taught and learned?

We do not have an official way for times tables to be taught, but we expect every child to know their tables. The provision is inserted into year 4 so that children are fluent in their tables, can recall them with automaticity and can then tackle long multiplication and long division in years 5 and 6.