Contractors wishing to deliver the government’s planned “multiplication check” for primary children must get their bids in by the end of next week.

The first online times-tables tests for 10 and 11-year-olds, a manifesto commitment made by the Conservatives before the general election last year, are due to begin in May next year.

In an article for The Sunday Times, Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, wrote that every pupil would be expected “to know their times-tables off by heart, to perform long-division and complex multiplication and to be able to read a novel. They should be able to write a short story with accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar.”

The paper also reported that senior leaders failing to get 100 per cent of pupils to pass the tests for two years running faced being replaced.

A contract notice for bidders states the tests will be “focused on 1-12 times-tables”. Their length and timing is “still to be decided following a wider consultation”.