Autumn phonics check unpopular with teachers, study finds

A new study is shedding light on how teachers perceive the controversial phonics autumn phonics check. 

The autumn phonics checks are administered in the UK after a student has successfully gone through year 1. These tests are designed to test students’ ability to read and how well they have mastered their phonics after their first year in school.

Research on autumn phonics check

according to the study, they found that most teachers were opposed to these autumn phonics checks, with the majority describing them as pointless. The research found that 3 in four teachers who took part in the study indicated they were against the term catch-up phonics check. These teachers also indicated that they believed these tests were hindering students in continuing their learning process.

Two in five Year 2 teachers who took part in the study also indicated that these checks affected the students psychologically. The study also found that 82 percent of these teachers indicated that these test had also increased their own stress levels. 

The study was conducted by the UCL Institute of Education and also found that 68 percent of teachers who took part in the autumn phonics indicated that they believed the tests were taking their valuable time that could have been used in classes teaching students other valuable lessons. The study also suggested that there might be a negative impact on young learners in their reading development.

The research was conducted on 1,200 teachers and included speaking separately with headteachers to understand how phonics checks are perceived across the country. 

The study was also able to find that only 25 percent of teachers believed that these checks provided valuable information on a student’s ability to read. However, thirteen percent of teachers thought that these checks had a positive impact and needed to continue.

The study’s overall findings showed that 72 percent of teachers believed that these tests were pointless, whereas 12 percent were not sure if they were valuable or not. Only 16 percent of teachers who took part in the survey indicated that the tests had a positive impact on students.

Featured image by Pixabay