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Phonics row escalates over charge of bias

The concerns raised about the restricted knowledge and commercial bias of the Government-appointed advisory committee for the national curriculum review are shared by many professional organisations with expertise in the early years, as well as literacy.

TACTYC, the association for the professional development of early-years educators, agrees that the teaching of phonics has an important place in the effective teaching of reading. The issue is how and when it is introduced. We consider that the Year 1 phonics test, taken at an age when children in other countries have not yet started school, will distort the curriculum in the early years. Continuous assessment at this stage is a more effective way of monitoring children's progress in reading and sharing it with parents. You can find a petition against the phonics test at www.gopetition.competition42347.html

Wendy Scott, President, TACTYC, Keswick, Cumbria.

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