NEXT June the Government will require all nine-year-olds to sit a new test to prove their knowledge of times tables.

While being able to recall tables does help with more complicated maths problems, schools already teach and assess this ability throughout a child's education.

This extra test, which will cost millions to administer, will not tell schools or parents anything they do not already know about a pupil's mathematical ability, and many are concerned that it is a pointless waste of money.

The National Association of Head Teachers has published a report that reveals the problems faced by those schools that trialled the new test and shows that there is little support from school leaders for its wider implementation.

We recommend that the test is scrapped immediately.

Paul Whiteman, General secretary of school leaders' union NAHT