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Literacy: Teaching Methods

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL1274, tabled on 21 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their decision to administer a phonics screening check to year 2 pupils in the 2021–22 autumn term, what assessment they have made of the effects of such tests on children's mental health and wellbeing.

Answered on

5 July 2021

The purpose of the 2021 autumn phonics screening check is to ensure that year 2 pupils who require further support in decoding phonics are identified early and given that support in good time. Schools should support a culture of wellbeing amongst staff and pupils, and while assessment is a fundamental part of a child’s education, it is not meant to cause them stress or anxiety. The department trusts schools to approach the phonics screening check appropriately.

Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a priority for this government. The department is continuing to help schools support children and young people’s wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. More than £17 million of mental health funding was announced in May 2021 to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges.