Tiffnie Harris, Primary and Data Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the publication of phonics screening check results, which show the percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard has risen from 75% to 79%.
“This improvement in reading ability is testament to the dedication of the incredible teachers and leaders in our primary schools and the tireless support they give to children. These results have been achieved at a time when schools are under enormous budget pressures and face a worsening recruitment and retention crisis. To take things to the next level, we need greater investment in early years and primary education and in our superb education workforce. It is vital that government invests heavily in early years and primary education, as this is where the foundations in greater outcomes for all young people lie. At present, government funding is impossibly tight and teacher shortages are critical. Raising standards further is extremely difficult in these circumstances and there is a real danger that standards will go backwards without this vital investment.”