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Literacy: Teaching Methods

Question for Department for Education

UIN 908974, tabled on 4 February 2019

What recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of teaching early literacy through phonics.

Answered on

4 February 2019

There is a significant body of evidence that demonstrates that systematic phonics is a highly effective method for teaching early reading. According to the Education Endowment Foundation, phonics approaches have been consistently found to be effective in supporting younger readers to master the basics of reading, with an average impact of an additional 4 months’ progress. Research suggests that phonics is particularly beneficial for younger pupils (4 to 7 year-olds) as they begin to read. Teaching phonics is more effective on average than other approaches to early reading (such as whole language or alphabetic approaches).

The Department is investing £26 million in a national network of English hubs to support local schools in developing their teaching practice, with a focus on systematic phonics. We are also funding 6 Phonics Partnerships and a series of Phonics Roadshows, to spread good practice and improve phonics teaching.

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