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APPG: Phonics – and what does the evidence tell us?

Monday 18 October 2021

The September meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties heard from three eminent speakers who all share the British Dyslexia Association’s concerns that the Reading Framework published by the Government in July 2021 guides teachers to use Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) as the sole method for teaching reading.

Professor Usha Goswami CBE FRE FBA, Professor John Stein FRCP FMedSci and Dr Sharon McMurray MBE spoke on the subject “Phonics – and what does the evidence tell us?"

Their three presentations highlighted that there is substantial evidence spanning 35 years which demonstrates that up to 25% of children cannot learn to read just by learning phonics, including most children with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

Children with reading difficulties benefit when a range of approaches to teaching reading are used alongside synthetic phonics. This includes other linguistic levels like onset-rime, syllable, and rhythm-based instructional approaches.

We are launching a petition calling upon the Government to revise their policy on teaching Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) as the sole method to teach reading.

The petition will be shared for signatures in due course.