Education and Skills Committee

8 November 2004

Teaching Children to Read

The Education and Skills Committee has announced an inquiry into Reading.

Terms of Reference:

To examine departmental policy and guidance on the teaching of reading to children in schools, focusing on foundation-level education through KS 3. To consider whether any changes are necessary to improve current guidance/ policy.

Suggested  foci include:

•  Whether policy/ guidance has a sound base in research evidence, looking at relative weight given to synthetic/analytic phonics, whole word/language, onset/ rhyme etc.

•  Putting policy into practice - how effectively is guidance being translated into practice? What variation exists in practice?

•  Which children benefit from current approaches? Are all equally well-served by current policy guidance on reading?

•  Introduction of early literacy strategies - teaching children to read from a very early age.

•  The success or otherwise of current policies compared to those being pursued in other countries - paying due attention to differences dictated by different languages.

•  The relative value of pre-literacy experience - by comparison to those countries with later age start to education.

Written submissions are welcome and should arrive no later than Monday 6 December.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to with an additional paper copy to:

Nerys Roberts, Education and Skills Select Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London  SW1P 3JA