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Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:17 pm
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Nick Gibb, Member of Parliament for Bognor Regis & Littlehampton since 1997 and Minister for School Standards announces a new project: ... onal-needs

Projects to improve education for children with additional needs

Nine projects across the country have been awarded a share of £4million to transform the education and outcomes of children taught in alternative provision.

Children taught in alternative provision are set to benefit from new projects to help them fulfil their potential, including work placements, careers advice and behaviour mentoring.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb today (6 August) announced nine innovative schemes across the country to benefit from a £4million fund to develop new ways of improving alternative provision, to support children educated outside of mainstream or special schools and help them succeed later in life.

Evidence shows children educated in alternative provision are less likely to achieve good GCSE grades and are less likely to be in education, employment or training post-16. The projects announced today aim to tackle these injustices by supporting children back into mainstream education when it is suitable, encouraging parents and carers to be more involved in their child’s education, helping young people make good academic progress, and moving on to further education or employment.

Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:49 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Following a change of Prime Minister in England - from Theresa May to Boris Johnson - it is with some relief the Minister Nick Gibb retains his position despite considerable upheaval in England's Cabinet re-shuffle!


Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:54 am
by Geoff Vaughan
Thank you for the links to these very important speeches Debbie. I am certain that the emphasis Nick Gibb has placed on the importance of early SSP teaching has been of real benefit to young learners in England.

Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:06 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Sadly, Geoff, and wrongly, Nick Gibb is often mocked by people because of his perpetual promotion of the need for 'Systematic Synthetic Phonics' - but he is right! And thank goodness for his appreciation of the need for SSP for all children.

Over a number of years there have been various initiatives where the government has funded, or part-funded, scrutinised phonics programmes, their associated training, and decodable reading books.

Schools minister Nick Gibb survives another reshuffle ... -reshuffle

Nick Gibb is to continue in his role as schools minister following Boris Johnson's ministerial reshuffle, it has been confirmed.

The phonics campaigner, who is the longest-serving schools minister of recent years, has retained his post at the Department for Education alongside education secretary Gavin Williamson.

This is a reminder of a news item back in January 2019:

Nick Gibb: The phonics wars are 'over'

Minister claims evidence has 'finally trumped rhetoric' in the debate over how best to teach reading ... s-are-over

Nick Gibb has declared victory in the phonics wars by saying that the "debate is over" about what is the best way to teach reading.

The school standards minister said that while there were still commentators "desperately clinging to romantic notions" about reading, it was time for the debate to move on to "which phonics programmes are most effective".

Mr Gibb was a keynote speaker today at the 'Wonder Years' conference on the knowledge-rich curriculum, organised by Parents and Teachers for Excellence.

In his speech, Mr Gibb said: "Teachers, researchers and policymakers will continue to debate the means for achieving their shared aims at conferences like this one.

"But this doesn’t mean that these debates shouldn’t change and become more focused over time, as more evidence is unearthed teachers can be more confident in what works."

He went on: "No longer is it tenable for example to argue against using high-quality phonics programme when teaching children to read. The 'look and say' versus phonics debate is over.

We know that the phonics wars should be over, but still we have people doing their utmost to undermine and criticise the promotion of systematic synthetic phonics - people who in effect serve to distract teachers and student-teachers, and special needs teachers, from delivering the best educational experience for learners' foundational literacy.

This is very upsetting but thanks to Twitter and other social media networks, more and more people are aware that there is a better way, a best way, to teach reading and writing in the English language.

We still need pioneers all over the world, because much of the world chooses to teach and work, at least in part, in the English language.

Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:15 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Here is a link to the latest initiative by the Department for Education in England to aspire in practical ways that all children, including the slowest progress 20%, are taught really well:


Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:44 am
by Geoff Vaughan
Thank you Debbie, the links are particularly useful to keep the current situation in a historical context.
I do wonder how the English Hubs are working out in practice. Are there criteria that they (and those who are part of them) are being judged by? Are you seeing a coalescence around improved SSP teaching in schools?

Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:50 pm
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Key Performance Indicators

The English Hubs Training Centre is collating results for example progress in learning the letter/s-sound correspondences of the alphabetic code and the phonics skills required for reading for all the 'partner schools' involved in the English Hubs initiatives.

In addition, video footage of provision is being organised by the English Hubs Training Centre to be able to share good practice. This should be very helpful for informing teachers in their 'continuing' professional development.

What I really appreciate is the spirit, and practicalities, of overarching support by lead practitioners based in the 34 English Hubs and there is also a team of designated 'Literacy Specialists' who supervise uptake of new programmes and practices in specific schools and offer further guidance. These Literacy Specialists will themselves gain from the opportunity to see the various accredited and adopted systematic synthetic phonics programmes and how well, or otherwise, they are launched or extended in the DfE funded, or part-funded, partner schools.

This is an exciting and potentially very important initiative which is building on findings in England to date whereby in 2012 when the statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check was launched only 58% of the children reached or exceeded the 32 out of 40 words read correctly (or 'plausibly' in the case of the 20 pseudowords) leading to 82% as the national average figure in 2019.

This 82% figure, however, is looking like results have stalled for the last three years across England as a whole. Aspirationally, this English Hubs initiative may lead to findings which can be shared widely to lead to even higher average phonics results in the near future.

Re: Nick Gibb, champion of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in England

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:45 pm
by Geoff Vaughan
I find this to be a common statistical trend when new programmes are put in place. The stalling is extremely frustrating for all concerned as I am always convinced that the teachers on the ground do not want stalling to take place and are always aiming fro as many pupils to succeed as possible.
There have been similar trends in KS1 and 2 SATS results and shifting the final 20% into success is hard and difficult work.
It takes the courage and vision of education and school leaders to address this relentlessly because I believe practitioners really do want to see 100% achieve this significant early reading milestone.
That needs to be a focus over the next few years as that curve can continue to climb. We know all to well what the consequences of failure to read are and it is those who are most in need that need this continued effort.