Commenting on ​the UCL paper on the Government's approach to the teaching of reading, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

"In the interests of educational quality, ministers should pay attention to this report. The case it makes for the rethinking of policy is compelling. 

'When it comes to detailed questions of teaching children to read, ministers should accept that Government does not know best. It would be more responsible for them to trust research evidence rather than to follow their own prejudices and instincts. 

'If left to choose, teachers would draw from a balanced range of methods, not just one, unbalanced approach – but current policies on synthetic phonics rule out any flexibility. 

'In July last year, the Government published ‘The Reading Framework’ which declared that the evidence for its preferred approach to phonics was ‘indisputable’. In the light of the UCL report, that claim is clearly revealed as false. 

'The report adds to the case for abolishing the phonics check and for stepping back from Ofsted’s enforcement of a single approach to the teaching of reading.  

'It is time that Government and Ofsted allowed informed debate on educational questions and ended the practice of basing policy on dogma."  

ENDS 

2022-007-NEU