The UKLA Phonics Check Survey Report was published in November 2012. The findings are similar to those of the NUT/ATL and NAHT survey with respondents saying that the test was a waste of time and told teachers nothing about children's reading that they did not already know.
Too young to fail? - let your MP know
Ian Mearns MP has tabled an Early Day Motion that highlights evidence that the Year One Phonics Screening Check has been costly, time-consuming and unnecessary and can undermine the confidence of more fluent readers by labelling them as failures. The EDM calls upon the Government to leave the use of the test up to the professional judgement of teachers. Please can you help us urge the Government to make the phonics check non-statutory by emailing your MP about the EDM*
Click here to email your MP via our quick and easy to use electronic facility.
*Please note parliamentary convention means that MPs with front bench jobs do not usually sign EDMs but they can write to the Minister raising your concerns.
Reading for Pleasure wins awards
The award winning Reading for Pleasure stand at the political party conferences this autumn drew people from politics, media and sport to record their favourite children’s book in our enormous book and enthused about the pleasure they found in reading. Go here to see which children’s books are a favourite read of some prominent people.”
The Year One Phonics Screening Check
Five is too young to fail!
The NUT opposes the nonsense Phonics Check
“We are now testing nonsense” was the statement made by an NUT member opposing the phonics test at the NUT’s annual conference this year. It is true. Half of the 40 test words will be nonsense words. The test is no more than an exercise in testing the decoding, not reading, skills of five and six year olds.
Michael Rosen is on record as saying that he can decode Italian but like many of us cannot understand it. All teachers know that reading involves comprehension as well as decoding.
Ninety-two per cent of NUT members responding to a survey on the check said that it told them nothing that they did not already know but that large numbers of children failed. Some of the children failed because they were already more accomplished readers who were trying to make sense of the nonsense words.
Children as young as five should not be unfairly branded failures within the education system because of a test designed by the Government to judge teachers and schools.
It is vital that the methods we employ when we introduce young children of five and six years old to reading should bring understanding, reward and pleasure to them. Drilling children to pass a reading test will achieve the exact opposite.
NUT General Secretary Christine Blower talks about the Phonics Screening Click here.
Find out below what you can do to oppose the check:
Email your MP
The Phonics Check simply doesn’t make sense. Click here to email your MP via our quick and easy to use electronic facility. It should only take a couple of minutes.
Teachers make the case against the Government's phonics policy.
Working with others
The NUT is working with the ATL and NAHT on its campaign to oppose the Year One Phonics Screening Check. The three unions have produced a joint leaflet (phonics leaflet - colour and phonics leaflet - mono) for parents and staff.
Year one Phonics Screening Check -ATL/NAHT/NUT Survey
Download the survey of ATL/NAHT and NUT members carried out after the Year One Phonics Screening Check in July 2012 in which over 90 per cent of respondents said that it told them nothing new about pupils reading skills.
In March we carried out a survey of our members’ views of the Check. In this section you will find a report of the survey outlining what members think.
This section provides advice and guidance to teachers on the workload and professional issues associated with the Check.
Year one phonics screening check
Phonics screening check consultation (NUT response to consultation)
Some materials included in this section may not necessarily reflect wholly the view of the National Union of Teachers.
Watch the Wroxham School Pupils 'It's all about reading' clip here.
Reading for pleasure, NUT alternative to the Government’s view of reading.
United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) Teaching of Reading Fact Sheet. This is a useful, downloadable resource for teachers and parents.
United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) Teaching Reading-What the Evidence Says Research Booklet. This provides important research evidence about the best ways to teach reading .
Communicating Phonics - The Communication Trust website provides practical guidance for teachers working with pupils who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The guidance will support teachers with the overall literacy development of children with SLCN recognising that learning to read is more than just learning to decode phonics.
Relevant Press Releases
Here you will find our press releases on the Check.
Michael Rosen Blog
The well known author Michael Rosen is supporting our campaign against the Check. Here is his blog
Authors Say NO to Phonics
72 leading authors , including Malorie Blackman, Beverley Naidoo, Alan Gibbons, Bali Rai and Michael Rosen have signed this open letter opposing the Year One Phonics Screening Check.