Children without English as a first language outperform their peers on times tables


children who do not speak English as a first language outperformed their peers in math, the first set of national data on children’s tables shows.

The newly published multiplication table checks of more than 625,000 fourth grade students in England also showed that disadvantaged students had a lower average score than their counterparts.

Among the students who took the check in the summer, the average score for those with a first language of English was 19.4 out of 25, while the average score for students with a mother tongue other than English was 21.2.

Students aged eight or nine in England were faced with 25 times table questions, up to 12 x 12, with a maximum of six seconds to answer each question.

The average score for disadvantaged students was 17.9, while the average score for not known as disadvantaged students was 20.5.

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For all students, the overall average score was 19.8 out of 25.

Over a quarter (27%) of all students passed the full mark.

London was the best performing region in the country, with an average score of 20.9.

The Southwest was the worst performing region, with an average score of 19.1.

It is the first publication of the statistics of the multiplication tables after the assessment becomes legal in the academic year 2021/22.

Funding of up to £59.3 million has been announced by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of the ongoing Maths Hubs program which aims to help schools improve their quality of education.

The department said the money was earmarked in last year’s spending review and is separate from the £2bn for schools announced in the autumn statement last week.

The results of the timestamp check come as a separate study of the impact of the pandemic on the attainment gap of disadvantaged seven- and eight-year-old students who were eight months behind their peers in math skills.

The gap has widened since before the pandemic and has remained at similar levels since spring 2021, according to research from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

Their research followed 6,000 students who were in daycare and first grade — ages four to six — from March 2020 through the spring semester of 2022.

Education Minister Nick Gibb said: “Learning your times tables fluently is so important for children – both for their time at school and in everyday life, and today’s data gives us an important benchmark to build on for years to come.

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“Math is vital for doing essential calculations like how a higher base rate will affect your mortgage or working out the best multi-pack bargains at a supermarket.

“The additional funding for Maths Hubs announced today is also critical as we continue to raise the level of Maths education across the country and work towards our goal of having 90% of children leaving primary school with expected levels in Maths by 2030. and English.”

The DfE said the results of the timetable check will provide teachers with standardized information to help identify pupils who may need additional support.



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