Commenting on new research from UCL on the extent to which teaching grammar supports pupils who are learning to write, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“This report adds to the accumulating evidence that the National Curriculum for English stands on weak foundations. In January a comprehensive review of the literature from UCL concluded that research evidence did not support government’s phonics-centred model for the teaching of reading. Now, the UCL/York research suggests the way that primary schools are required to teach grammar does not support children in their writing.  

“The conclusion of this report that schools have been forced to adopt methods of teaching for which there is no strong research basis must act as a wake-up call to Government. Millions have been invested in training teachers to adopt ineffective models of teaching. Ministers have insisted on methods of teaching that elevate rote learning of parts of speech above the practical and creative use of language. This is lowering the quality of education. The primary curriculum has headed in the wrong direction: the case for an independent review is strengthening by the day.”