Dr Dodd's conclusions are reasonable, given the account in the Independent of 8 May on which they are based. That account, however, was inaccurate. The real situation, according to the relevant report from the Office for Standards in Education, is that 40 per cent had reading ages two or more years below their chronological age - a much more worrying state of affairs.
Unfortunately, the confusion evident here is typical of the confusion which has existed throughout the long-running debate about literacy standards. Proper testing would solve the problem, with results reported in a simple, unambiguous way.
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