Focus on Phonics: Why Australia should adopt the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

Jennifer Buckingham, Julie Mavlian
24 November 2016 | RR22
Focus on Phonics: Why Australia should adopt the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

A simple, five-minute Phonics Screening Check could identify at an early stage all of Australia’s school children who are at serious risk of struggling with reading skills.

Among English speaking countries, Australia has one of the largest proportions of children who do not achieve minimum standards in literacy by Year 4. This could be turned around if schools used explicit, systematic phonics instruction as part of their literacy teaching.

There is a strong precedent for this policy. The UK government introduced a Year 1 Phonics Screening Check in all primary schools in England in 2012. The proportion of students reaching the expected standard in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check in England increased from 58% in 2012 to 81% in 2016.

The Check would be an effective and cost-effective measure, which would show whether phonics is being taught effectively across the country and in individual schools, and provide early identification of students who are struggling with this essential foundational reading skill.

Click here for more information about the FIVE from FIVE Literary Project

Buy Hardcopy
Latest Publications

Reforming Social Housing: financing and tenant autonomy
Michael Potter
27 April 2017 | RR25

Around 400,000 Australians live in social housing, which includes public and community housing. This sector is ripe for reform, with many public housing dwellings failing adequacy standards, numerous tenants are dissatisfied and live in housing that is too small or too large for their needs. Waiting lists are very long, over 10 years in most of Sydney, tenants lack choice…

READ MORE
Real Choice for Ageing Australians: Achieving the Benefits of the Consumer-Directed Aged Care Reforms in the New Economy
Jeremy Sammut
09 April 2017 | RR24

The consumer-directed aged care (CDC) reforms are an important opportunity to showcase the benefits of market-based reforms to often sceptical and change-averse members of the public. Given the broader implications, this report warns that the CDC reforms could fall short of their promise and fail to optimise the potential outcomes due to lack of follow up and follow through reforms. If…

READ MORE
Report Card on State Finances
Robert Carling
19 February 2017 | RR23

The Commonwealth government’s perilous financial position is well known, but the finances of state government also warrant our attention. In aggregate, since plunging heavily into deficit after 2007, the states’ fiscal position has improved markedly in recent years, marked by a return to net operating surpluses, much reduced fiscal deficits, and stabilization of net debt. Growth of operating expenses has…

READ MORE
MEDI-VATION: ‘Health Innovation Communities’ for Medicare Payment and Service Reform
Jeremy Sammut, Gerald Thomas, Peta Seaton
02 November 2016 | RR21

Health Innovation Communities (HICs) would essentially constitute an Australian ‘Silicon Valley’ for health – hubs for research and development within which the proverbial 1000 flowers will bloom as a plurality of different providers create novel health products and solutions. The good examples and real world (as opposed to trial quality) evidence of better practice and outcomes that will be rapidly…

READ MORE
Fix it or Fail: Why we must cut company tax now
Michael Potter
04 October 2016 | RR20

Australia needs to cut company tax to 25% to boost business investment, which is currently at recessionary levels. An investment boost will grow the economy, leading to increased wages, employment, national income, exports and productivity. Business investment is being hampered by our uncompetitive company tax, which is highly inefficient and much more burdensome than in other developed countries. In the…

READ MORE