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Reading: Teaching Methods

Education written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education

(1) how much funding his Department has provided to the year one phonics screening check to date;

(2) how many meetings he had with teaching unions about the introduction of the year one phonics screening check before its introduction;

(3) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the year one phonics screening check.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The costs of developing and piloting the phonics screening check in 2011 were £300,000. The independent evaluation of the pilot cost an additional £75,000. Delivering the national roll-out of the phonics screening check in June 2012 cost £600,000. We have committed a further £280,000 for a three-year, independent evaluation of the national roll-out.

Ministers and officials have consulted with teacher unions, notably NAHT, on many occasions during the design and implementation of the check, including at Education Forum meetings where the phonics check is raised regularly.

The check was piloted with 300 schools in 2011, and an independent evaluation was carried out by Sheffield Hallam university. Following national roll-out in 2012, we have commissioned NFER to evaluate the check over a period of three years. NFER will be looking at administration of the check, and its effect on the teaching of phonics and wider literacy in schools.

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