Nottinghamshire children's phonics skills rebound following Covid pandemic
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While children across England have improved their phonics skills in the last year, they remain worse than before successive lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
Department for Education (DfE) figures show 80 per cent of children aged between five and seven in key stage one in Nottinghamshire met the expected standard in a range of phonics tests, which assess their speaking, reading and pronunciation.
This was up from 77 per cent the year before, and in line with pre-pandemic levels.
Nationally, 79 per cent of key stage one children met the expected standard in phonics assessment – up from 75 per cent, but below 82 per cent in 2018-19.
Tiffnie Harris, primary and data specialist at the ASCL, said: "Young children’s early learning was affected by that disruption and it is a testament to the superb work of school staff that results are improving despite the lack of adequate Government investment in education recovery.
"However, schools are facing severe challenges because of staff shortages, underfunding, and high rates of child poverty, and it is vital that the Government addresses these issues."
The figures also show more children in Nottinghamshire reached the expected standard in reading, with 67 per cent and 69 per cent displaying the requisite reading skills at key stage one in 2021-22 and last year respectively.
Similarly, children's writing skills also improved in the last year, up from 59 per cent to 61 per cent.
Across England, 68 per cent of key stage one pupils met the expected standard in reading, up from 67 per cent in 2022.
A DfE spokesperson said they were ‘pleased to see that pupils are continuing to catch up on learning following the pandemic’.
They added: "We have made £5 billion available since 2020 for education recovery initiatives, which have supported millions of pupils in need of extra support.
"Our ongoing investment in English and maths curriculum hub programmes will support children to benefit from high-quality teaching in early reading and maths respectively, including through phonics and teaching for mastery interventions."