Pupils will sit their times-tables check in year 4, rather than in year 6 as originally planned, the education secretary has announced.

The policy was first announced as part of the Conservatives’ general election manifesto in 2015 but focused on year 6 pupils, rather than year 4.

Teachers subsequently noted that multiplications are taught in year 4 — prompting officials to look again at the process.

The checks have since been delayed numerous times, with the Department for Education sending an email to schools last summer confirming there would be “no statutory requirement” to stage the tests next summer as originally planned.

Schools will now be expected to administer the tests to their year 4 pupils from 2019-20.

These checks are to “aid children’s fluency in mathematics”, a DfE press release said.

The test is expected to be an online assessment — in a bid to reduce teacher workload.  Contractors wanting to run the check were asked to design “a secure online service”, plus a service to cater for schools with limited or no internet access.