Phonics check is `dangerously confused', educationalists argue
The phonics check for five- and six-year-olds in England is "dangerously confused" and should be abolished, according to an open letter to education secretary Michael Gove.
The pound;4.3 million test, which was taken this month by more than 630,000 children, has proved highly contentious since its introduction last year. Each child reads a list of 40 words to their teacher, containing 20 real words and 20 pseudo words that are presented as the names of imaginary creatures. The pseudo words are included because they are new to all children and so should be a fair test of decoding skills.
But David Reedy, general secretary of the UK Literacy Association, Andrew Davis from Durham University, union leaders and other education experts have complained that the check is flawed and undermines children's confidence. "It is an inefficient, expensive and time-consuming way of assessing an aspect of children's reading ability," they write in a letter to Mr Gove, published in this issue of TES.
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