It’s fair to say you probably remember relentlessly practising your times tables back in your primary school days…
But the Education Minister – who is launching a national crackdown to make sure kids know them by the time they’re 11 – clammed up when asked if she knew hers. Awkward.
Education Minister Nicky Morgan is forcing the new maths test on school kids, but refused to answer it herself on live TV.
The top Tory announced today that all Year 6 pupils will be expected to know up to 12 x 12, with action against teachers who don’t quite make the grade with their students.
But – in a fairly hypocritical move – when she appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain back in February, she was asked to answer 7 x 8 by host Susanna Reid and refused to. She immediately replied by saying: “I’m not going to be answering any maths questions.”
The host was a bit taken aback and said in response: “Do you not think there is an irony that the education secretary won’t answer questions about the times tables but requires every primary school child to know them?”
But the minister wasn’t having any of it and dodged the question three times. She said: “I know what it’s like with these interviews. I’ll be doing lots of interviews this morning and there will be one where I get it wrong and that’s the one that everyone’s going to be focused on.”
The new-on screen tests will be against the clock and are to be piloted by 3,000 students in 80 schools this summer, with plans to roll out it out nationwide in 2017.
It’s no surprise that Labour slammed the plan, saying it focused on something that has already been done over past decades.
Speaking to The Mirror the Shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell, said this latest announcement, “smacks of a government which has run out of ideas for educational improvement”.
Here’s another time the minister refused to answer a maths question on BBC Breakfast:
And politicians wonder why we think they’re so disengaged from reality…