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Phonics checks 'will distort teaching at EYFS'

19/07/2011 Joanna
Government plans to introduce synthetic phonics checks for six-year-olds have been criticised by the National Association for Primary Education (NAPE).

John Coe, a spokesman for the organisation, said the main objection is that the test "will become high stakes" and distort teaching at Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 levels.

"Accompanied by the offer of additional finance to support the adoption of government approved 'synthetic' schemes it is a clumsy attempt to dictate teaching methods in our schools," he commented.

"This is in direct opposition to the principles of the 2010 White Paper which, properly, left the choice of teaching methods in the hands of the teaching profession."

Mr Coe noted that phonics are already being taught and that any responsible school will be checking progress.

However, he added that it is government interference which the teaching profession is resisting.

Schools minister Nick Gibb announced earlier this year that the synthetic phonics checks will be introduced despite widespread opposition to the government's consultation on the issue.

Posted by Katy Kearns
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