Phonics furore

28th April 2006 at 01:00
Prescription of teaching methods is "the most significant threat to teacher professionalism for a century or more", writes Colin Richards (TES, April 21). I agree, but Jim Rose is right to favour synthetic phonics.

The national literacy strategy, promoting the failed searchlights model, was not compulsory - but for many might as well have been. My local authority backed my head's decision to insist I tell pupils to guess words from pictures. I refused and had to leave.

Teachers must be informed and accountable. Will they be informed about synthetic phonics soon without further compulsion? How long must pupils wait to be taught effectively? It's a dilemma.

Elizabeth Nonweiler 3 The Chase, Donnington Newbury, Berkshire

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