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Literacy: Teaching Methods

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent guidance has been given to schools on the use of synthetic phonics; and if he will make a statement. (174263)

The strong emphasis we have placed on the use of systematic phonics through the renewed Primary Framework is supported by a range of guidance and training.

We have provided Letters and Sounds, a high quality phonics training manual developed by the Primary National Strategy with support from Jim Rose, free to all primary schools. To help schools implement this we have provided, and continue to provide, training and guidance to local authorities for dissemination to schools.

Through the Communication, Language and Literacy Development Programme we provide guidance for all those involved in early literacy development: teachers, teaching assistants, head teachers and LA staff. In addition to training and guidance we provide a dedicated site which addresses the key aspects of quality first teaching of early reading.

As part of consolidating a firm understanding of the principles which underpin excellent phonic work we have determined a set of core criteria that define the key features of an effective systematic phonics teaching programme. These build directly on Sir Jim Rose’s recommendations for

‘high quality phonic work’.

These, together with notes of guidance on how to apply them, are contained within Letters and Sounds and can also be accessed through our dedicated phonics site which provides an additional source of advice and information for schools and settings to draw on.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidelines he has issued to Ofsted on monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Rose review. (174289)

The Department has not issued guidelines to Ofsted on this matter. It has however asked Ofsted to conduct reviews of both early reading provision in schools, and its coverage as part of initial teacher training. These are expected to take place in the coming year.