Targets on literacy miss the mark

Tony Martin

Having read the speech by the chief inspector of schools to launch the Ofsted report Moving English Forward ("Ofsted bids to toughen up primary literacy targets", 16 March), I am puzzled. There is a mismatch between the two. The 10-point action plan from the chief inspector is not the same as the recommendations in the report. Did Sir Michael Wilshaw read it?

In terms of teaching phonics, the report states that "virtually all schools were following the government's recommendations" and "strengths of teaching far outweighed weaknesses". But in the speech, the spotlight is on the shortcomings of initial teacher training institutions in phonics teaching. Presumably, the phonics lessons praised in the report are being taught by teachers trained in these institutions.

The best bits discuss what Ofsted calls "myths" about what makes a good lesson. Anyone teaching over the past 15 years can take a look to have a good laugh (or cry). Sir Michael, these myths have not arisen out of thin air. They formed the basis of national training from national strategies. And Ofsted policed them.

Tony Martin, Ambleside, Cumbria.

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Tony Martin

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