Commenting on the Government’s announcement of its intention to launch a national reading competition in England, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The NUT is well aware of the need to instil a love of reading in children, as our Reading for Pleasure campaign demonstrated. Unfortunately this is something which the present curriculum with its focus on SATs and the inevitable teaching to the test does not allow for.
“The Government needs to accept that phonics is not the only way that children learn to read. For it to be presented as such is both misleading and detrimental to those for whom it simply won’t work.
“If the Government is really serious about every child being a good reader then they need to ensure properly resourced one to one tuition for pupils who need extra help with reading at various stages in their school career. Instead of inventing new competitions the Government should provide the resources and the freedom children and teachers need to ensure all children become good readers, including halting the closure of yet more public libraries.”
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