Multiplication tests to be trialled – by ministers who can’t do their times tables

Nick Gibb: “I do know the answer to the question but I’m not going to do so on live television.” In that case, he DIDN’T know the answer – otherwise he’d have demonstrated it, rather than humiliating himself. Right?

The Tory government has opened itself up to more humiliation with the revelation that its ‘schools standards’ minister can’t do his times tables.

Nick Gibb is a former Grammar schoolboy – which suggests that such an education isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and the Tories were right to retire their plan to bring back this form of education.

He’s not the first Tory minister to duck the test. Nicky Morgan – a former Oxford University student – avoided answering multiplication questions when she was Education Secretary.

And when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer (!) George Osborne (educated at multiple independent schools and Oxford) stalled when he was asked to multiply seven by eight.

Here’s Mr Gibb dodging the question on Good Morning Britain:

The other important issue here is the fact that the DfE had to reassure teachers that the results would not be used against them.

What does that say about the system the Tories have imposed on our schools?

I don’t want teachers to be living in fear of some impersonal – and, frankly, ignorant government organisation sticking its oar in and upsetting their work to educate our children.

It’s counter-productive – but then, perhaps that’s the idea. Tories don’t want ordinary children to have a decent education because it would show them up.

After all, Tory ministers who were privately-educated and then attended Oxford still can’t do multiplication in their heads.

Tests to check whether eight- and nine-year-olds know their times tables will be trialled in some primary schools in England next month before being rolled out nationally.

The test, which ministers hope will improve pupils’ numeracy, will become mandatory in 2020 for all year 4 students.

The government says the on-screen test, which assesses knowledge of the times tables up to 12, will last no longer than five minutes and has been designed to avoid causing additional stress for children and teachers.

The Department for Education sought to reassure teachers that the results would not be published and would not be used by the schools watchdog Ofsted to enforce any changes.

Source: Times table tests to be trialled in primary schools in March | Education | The Guardian


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

8 thoughts on “Multiplication tests to be trialled – by ministers who can’t do their times tables

  1. Dan

    Isn’t it about time we accepted that today’s school children are NEVER going to do sums in their heads or on paper, and actually taught them something that might be useful in the modern world? Times tables were essential knowledge in their day, but in the 21st century we might as well be teaching kids how to scramble up chimneys or drive heavy horses as lumbering them with this outdated nonsense.

  2. dsbacon2017

    As a secondary modern lad I went on to get two degrees from a Russell Group University and, although I’m an arithmetician rather than a mathematician, I can still, at 82, remember my tables. Education has been a dumping ground for numpties under the tories with the numpty in chief being Gove. Justine Greening showed glimmers of sense, but she had to go on ideological (i.e.) illogical lines decided by Mrs May.

  3. Dave Rowlands

    “The Department for Education sought to reassure teachers that the results would not be published and would not be used by the schools watchdog Ofsted to enforce any changes.”

    So, exactly what are these tests going to be used for?

    More unqualified MP’s using their “on the back of a postage stamp” ideas as caring for the people of this country. Didn’t they ban the teaching of the “Times” table a few years ago as being too repetitive?

  4. wildswimmerpete

    I did my “times tables” during my 1950s as a junior, as did my contempories. However the early Seventies saw the new-fangled pocket calculator put an end to that. However I can still use log tables if needed.

  5. Pat Sheehan

    All this endless b******s is just to distract everyone from all the sick and disabled and homeless and jobless people who will have to carry on dying in their homes, on their hospital trolleys in some dark, cobwebbed corridor or on the ‘steps of Parliament’ before anyone sits up and takes notice.

Comments are closed.