Schools are being pushed into buying phonics products available from only one supplier, says an independent cross-party group
. The MPs recognised that schools should be able to match resources with the needs of their pupils.
The cross-party group also warned that teaching reading by blending sounds could cause pupils to “switch-off” from reading.
However, the Education White Paper
makes it clear that synthetic phonics is the government approved method of teaching reading and will require Ofsted to make judgements which will “recognise particular features of systematic synthetic phonics teachings”.
These clauses should be removed from the Education White Paper. It is not for the Secretary of State for Education, or any future Secretary of State, to make decisions about how teachers should teach. It is a matter of professional judgement based on which resources match particular children, as the MPs make clear.
The question is, will Mr Gove listen?
And then, of course, there is the question of unfair competition if the DfE is offering financial incentives for schools to purchase resources from only one supplier.