The impact of Gove on the teaching of reading

Here is what Richard Adams of the Guardian writes today about the impact Gove has made to the teaching of reading:

The first is the phonics check – the brief test of reading ability the DfE introduced for year 1 pupils. For years, synthetic phonics – which teaches pupils to break words into sounds – has been supported by government policy as the most effective way to teach reading in the first years at school. But inertia and opposition meant that the policy was never implemented. The phonics check changed all that, and teachers in primary schools have quickly responded by adopting synthetic phonics teaching.

The implications are profound – although phonics remains bitterly opposed by some, there is clear evidence that it is more effective than other methods and offers those from disadvantaged backgrounds the best chance of catching up with their more fortunate and more literate middle-class peers in the crucial first years of formal education.

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