Last week I argued that both the government and the opposition are struggling to reconcile following the evidence about 'what works' with their wider reform programmes designed to give those running/working in public services more freedom to make their own decisions. Does evidence trump information, or visa versa? Estelle Morris nails the argument here:
‘First, although the literacy strategy is well researched and based on evidence, I wouldn't claim it was the only approach that worked. A strategy underpinned by phonics has to be non-negotiable, but other tried and tested phonics programmes would work as well and it could have been made clearer that teachers could make their own choice.
Second, I believe the strategy has delivered for very many children and has helped to transform our primary schools. It may, however, not be the right educational programme for the 20% who are still lagging behind.’
I'm no expert in phonics, but i'm glad someone has said this. Because there's a bigger point here about drawing on different forms of evidence to meet policy goals.