6th February 2015 at 00:00
We bring you discussion, debate and issues from around the web and around the world by focusing on the most popular educational hashtags on Twitter

Just how important is it for a child to know their times tables? On Sunday, the Conservatives proposed that any school failing to achieve a 100 per cent pass rate on times table and writing tests for its 11-year-old pupils two years running should face takeover by new leadership. Twitter went wild.

@mikercameron said: "Kids to know their times tables. Is that the limit of your uninspired vision of the future? You really are the past. Stay there."

But @jon_brunskill disagreed: "I'm going to bet that very, very few primary schools explicitly teach times tables. Everyone thinks it's the year before's job." @chrishildrew retorted: "My kids are taught times tables consistently in primary and expected to practise at home."

By Monday, journalists were subjecting politicians to a frenzy of times table testing, including education secretary Nicky Morgan. "Was Morgan really not able to do 11x12 on television this morning? I thought she'd have been swotting all night ready for that trap," tweeted @schoolduggery.

Later, it was David Cameron's turn. "Ha ha, PM refuses to answer 9x8. OH COME ON," mocked @SkyAnushka.

This triggered @ajjolley to suggest: "If ministers can't answer simple times tables under pressure, prime minister should be sacked."

Helen Ward

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