Merton in top 10 local authorities for phonics results

Merton Council’s primary schools have put the council in the top 10 local authorities for year 1 phonics.

Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing by learning the sounds letter combinations make.

Following the publication of the 2017 statutory phonics screening check for 6-year-olds, the council has been formally congratulated by Minister for School Standards, the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, for achieving a four percentage point increase on its 2016 performance. Eighty-four percent of pupils achieved the expected standard which is three percentage points above the national average.

Merton Council cabinet member for education Cllr Caroline Cooper-Marbiah said: “This is yet more fantastic news for our schools as they continue to perform strongly, giving our children a great start in life. Children who can read are much more likely to gain the qualifications they need and enjoy a rewarding career. Congratulations to all our primary school pupils and teaching staff who make Merton stand out as an excellent place to go to school and achieve their full potential.”


Note to editor

The phonics screening check is a statutory assessment for all pupils in year 1 (typically aged 6) to check whether they have met the expected standard in phonic decoding. All state-funded schools with a year 1 cohort must administer the check. Those pupils who did not meet the standard in year 1 or who were not checked, must take part in the check at the end of year 2 (typically aged 7). Teachers administer the check one-on-one with each pupil and record whether their response to each of the 40 words is correct. Each pupil is awarded a mark between 0 and 40 and in 2017, as in previous years, the threshold to determine whether a pupil had met the expected standard was 32. Since 2014, this threshold mark has not been communicated to schools until after the screening check has been completed, however its year-on-year stability means it is predictable.