The 2014 National Curriculum states that:
"By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work."
"Pupils should be taught to recall multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 × 12."
The purpose of the multiplication tables check (MTC) is to determine whether year 4 pupils can fluently recall multiplication tables in accordance with the above objectives. However, it will only assess the instant recall of multiplication facts – division facts will not be tested in the check.
The MTC will be introduced in June 2020 (2019/20 academic year) subject to the approval of parliament. This means that children currently in year 3 who are registered at maintained schools, special schools or academies (including free schools) in England will be taking the test as a statutory requirement. However, if schools should wish to trial the MTC, it will be available as a voluntary check in the 2018/19 academic year.
Schools will be able to access the check during a three-week window in June, during which time they can choose when they administer the check.
Schools will need to have a secure and reliable internet connection and access to computers or tablets in order to be able to administer the test, as the MTC will be delivered as an "online, on-screen digital assessment".
Under standard administration (this hinting at the fact that some children may be allowed extra time), the check will take each pupil less than five minutes to complete.
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