Professional empowerment or government diktat?

For a government that talks about professional empowerment, Dr Bernard Trafford is amazed to note the sheer number of central diktats

Just the other day a friend, a primary head, was bewailing her problems with the phonics test. She’s not against phonics per se, but the test for six-year-olds is causing her headaches. Why? For some children it’s just too hard.

Not those, arguably the majority, for whom learning to read is best done via phonics: for them the test is entirely logical. The problem lies with those instinctive readers who grasp intuitively how words are written, recognise and use them. For them there is something bewildering and fundamentally wrong about being required to read words such as “gar” and “kloob”: they know they aren’t real.

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