On the 13 April 2017, South Australian educators and policy makers gathered to hear about the success of the UK phonics check from Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards in the UK. The UK has it right – it’s about ensuring ALL students are taught to read early!
“In 2012, just 58% of England’s 6-year-olds met the expected standard in the phonics screening check. By 2016, thanks to the hard work of teachers and the use of phonics, this rose to 81%. This amounts to 147,000 more 6-year-olds on track to become fluent readers than in 2012.
There are few – if any – more important policies for improving social mobility than ensuring all pupils are taught to read effectively. Literacy is the foundation of a high-quality, knowledge-rich education. Those opposed to the use of systematic synthetic phonics are standing between pupils and the education they deserve.”
Previous Dyslexia SA President, Dr Sandra Marshall, was invited to attend by Senator Simon Birmingham, previous Federal Minister for Education. Our Association has been working closely with Senator Birmingham to make the phonics check a reality. His support and understanding of the underlying issues of literacy failure in our country and how to lead improvement has been invaluable.
Our previous State Minister for Education, Hon Susan Close, agreed to trial the UK Phonics Check in SA public schools in August 2017 with the intention to fully roll out the check in 2018. The current State government Education Minister John Gardner also agreed to roll out the implementation of the Phonics Check and we are grateful to say this is currently underway.
Below from left: Dr Sandra Marshall, Hon Nick Gibb, Senator Birmingham