Commenting on Gavin Williamson's confirmation that phonic checks for children in year 2 at primary school will go ahead in the Autumn term, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

"The last thing children need after Covid-19 is another test which won’t tell teachers anything new or helpful about their pupils and will simply put them under more pressure.

'Children who ‘fail’ the test will be required to re-sit it in the summer term. This is no message to give to pupils who have just experienced huge disruption to their education due to the pandemic.

'Carrying out this test in autumn will also place an unnecessary burden on school staff at a time when they want to focus all their energies on supporting pupils with learning.”



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