Budget cut could aid reading

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A significant cut in education budgets could help children learn to read. This is the claim of the Reading Reform Foundation (RRF), which argues that the current Government is too focused on providing expensive interventions totally at odds with the reading instruction recommended in the Rose Report (June 2006). The House of Commons All-Party Science and Technology Select Committee has heavily criticised programmes such as Reading Recovery which it states are based on a lower quality of evidence than synthetic phonics.

According to Geraldine Carter, committee member of the RRF, teachers are thoroughly confused by wave after wave of budget-heavy Government-backed interventions, such as Reading Recovery. Consistency of approach is crucial, and improvements in literacy can be achieved far more simply and cheaply through extended practice in synthetic phonics. As with any skills-based acquisition, some children simply need more practice in acquiring these skills, Mrs Carter claimed.

The RRF Foundation Conference: Waves will take place at Birkbeck College, University of London on 19 March 2010.

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