I know I am far from alone in lamenting the government's current obsession with synthetic phonics. However, the potential for this approach to the teaching of reading to become statutory (per the new English curriculum, and to some extent the new Professional Standards) is far more sinister and has wider implications for all of us as teachers. I cannot think of any other example where it has been a legal obligation to teach any element of any subject in a particular way.
It is particularly galling from a government which claims it wishes to give schools and teachers more professional freedom over their curriculum and indeed does not require academies to follow it at all, nor potentially to employ qualified teachers.
It is now vital that those of us who wish to challenge this dangerous state of affairs speak with a strong and united voice. so that the government has to acknowledge the degree of unease there is around the country. If you disagree with the move towards all reading being taught through phonics OR regardless of your views on the phonics debate, you disagree with any teaching method becoming statutory, I would like to hear from you. I would also like to hear from parents whose children are struggling with phonics and for whom the remedy is more phonics.
Please see my letter in the TES
of August 10th and get in touch on email@example.com