Scotland: So what's the state of play in Scotland when it comes to teacher education and school provision for reading?

News articles, interviews, research, events and lots more - ready for your comments.
User avatar
Posts: 2430
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Scotland: So what's the state of play in Scotland when it comes to teacher education and school provision for reading?

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri May 06, 2022 12:23 pm

Mother, Gillian Evans, describes to what extent not teaching her son to read well affected his wellbeing. This could have been avoided:

My dyslexic son was suicidal because our school ignored his needs, says mother ... -sk7d2rsfg

Education experts have condemned the “scandalous” state of reading education in Scotland’s schools after a mother told how teachers pushed her son to the brink of suicide by overlooking his dyslexia.

Gillian Evans, a microbiologist, took her son, Thomas, out of school to teach him how to read herself.

Evans, 59, told a seminar on the future of Scottish education that the current system, which allows councils to decide what teaching methods work for them, has created a postcode lottery of provision throughout Scotland.

Evans said: “My son was suicidal because he could not read. I had to take him out of school and teach him how to read using a synthetic phonics programme. Suicides rates are increasing, illiteracy rates are increasing — we cannot wait for a discussion,” she said.

“My school knew my child was three years behind his age in reading but they would not give me his standardised assessment data.”

Gillian describes yet another postcode lottery, or chance, as to how children are taught to read in Scotland. It does not have to be like this.

This article has been published at the same time as Anne Glennie's famous petition, supported by Sir Jim Rose, has been officially 'closed' - so was it all to no avail?

You can see here how hard Anne, and others, have worked to wake up top political officials in Scotland to get on board with training teachers in research-informed reading instruction:


People who understand this issue regarding flawed or inadequate teacher training and teaching were buoyed by the findings of the Right to Read inquiry in Ontario, Canada - at the heart of this inquiry were children and people whose lives have been badly affected by the lack of quality, evidence-informed reading instruction:


I am constantly pointing out that such inquiry findings ARE NOT NEW. The debate about the efficacy of different content and approaches for reading instruction is decades old. This thread aims to point this out:


We are going round and round in circles. Scotland borders England. These countries share 'United Kingdom' status - and yet their education systems are devolved.

How can it be that in England, systematic synthetic phonics is mandated - encapsulated in various official guidance documents - some statutory. And the inspectorate in England - Ofsted - expects to see the provision of quality 'systematic synthetic phonics' in Reception for the four to five year olds. In England, there is a statutory snapshot Year 1 phonics screening check.

And here is another tragic irony, when Sir Jim Rose conducted his independent national review of the teaching of early reading (which is a really important, world-renowned report) he and his team of inspectors visited various schools with different approaches including in Scotland where the Clackmannanshire research took place (Johnston and Watson). So, in effect, findings from schools in Scotland made an important contribution to developments towards 'systematic synthetic phonics' provision in England with the model of understanding what it means to be a reader in the full sense of the Simple View of Reading (Gough and Tunmer, 1896)!

And yet, arguably, official guidance and training in Scotland - remains at the level of 'chance'. And provision for children with regard to the teaching of reading and spelling remains no better than 'chance' - despite decades of research.

This is simply not good enough. But here is the problem:


Return to “Around the World: News and Events”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests