At the time of posting this recorded webinar, Nick Gibb has been replaced by Robin Walker as Minister for School Standards in England, and the Department for Education has re-opened the 'validation' process for evaluating 'Systematic Synthetic Phonics' programmes and training.
There are some concerns, however, that this is leading to a formula for judging programmes and provision based on a couple of very specific phonics programmes without taking into account the design and guidance (the differences) of other programmes and training.
This is resulting in teachers panicking about their provision of cumulative, decodable reading books to the point of throwing out perfectly good quality reading book schemes along with a narrow allocation of reading books without taking into account the individual needs, progress and potential of children. This ranges from whether they need extra practice with simpler books - perhaps 'lagging behind' the code formally introduced in the class - to precocious children who, for reading, are readily self-teaching and racing ahead of their peers with their reading but are still appropriately placed for their phonics provision alongside their peers for spelling purposes:
Abigail Steel and I put forward our worries about the DfE micromanaging schools' provision and programme design and training:
This short document explains the situation - the danger of being too pedantic about the use of 'exactly matched' decodable reading books (to the code in the systematic phonics programme) versus 'what does every child as an individual need for their reading skill and capacity to read':
https://phonicsinternational.com/wp-con ... bility.pdf