Pupils doing better on phonics tests year on year


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The Independent Online

Tests for six-year-olds have shown thousands more pupils reaching the required reading standard in the Government’s new phonics check, results have showed.

The results showed those reaching the required standard had risen from 69 to 74 per cent since last year - an increase of 24,000. it means that since the test was first introduced three years ago the number passing it has increased by 102,000.

A breakdown of the results showed, however, that white working class pupils were still lagging behind with only 53 per cent reaching the standard - against 74 per cent of all white pupils. Girls also outperformed boys, eight points ahead on 78 per cent.

The results were hailed by Schools Reform Minister Nick Gibb, a champion of the new test, as “irrefutable evidence that our plan for education is working for young people” through a relentless emphasis on phonics.

“Had we not done so those pupils would still struggling today,” he added.

The test consists of getting six-year-olds to spell 40 words, some of them made up. Teachers’ leaders have criticised them saying that in the past brighter pupils have failed the test because they try to make the made-up words into real words.

The Government says they are a method of indicating which pupils are struggling with literacy – so they can be given extra help.