The RRF is an organisation dedicated to campaigning for better teaching of reading in the English language. Our website has something to offer everyone who is interested in the teaching of reading.
Our members include people from a wide range of backgrounds with a variety of experiences. We have all been convinced by a wealth of evidence that a method known as synthetic phonics is the most effective for teaching everyone to read.
Partly as a result of RRF campaigning, the UK government has endorsed synthetic phonics for the initial teaching of reading in primary schools in England. This is a huge achievement.
However, there is still a lot to be done. All over the world, wherever children and older students are taught to read in the English language, there is a lack of understanding about synthetic phonics. In England contradictory and less effective methods are being promoted by government for helping young children who have fallen behind their peers.
We believe that the way children are taught is crucial to their success in learning to read. They all need knowledge of the alphabetic code and the skills of blending sounds for reading and segmenting the spoken word for spelling – whether they learn to read easily or find it difficult.
For too long now the teaching of reading has been affected by the idea that children should learn by discovery, leading to the rejection of systematic, explicit instruction. This idea is deeply ingrained in education and still has a powerful influence on how reading is taught, despite having no scientific validity.
RRF Governing Statement
The Reading Reform Foundation is a non-profit making organisation. It was founded by educators and researchers who are concerned about the high functional illiteracy rates among children and adults in the United Kingdom and in the English-speaking world.
Based on a wealth of scientific evidence, members of the Reading Reform Foundation are convinced that reading failure is caused by faulty instructional methods. A particular fault of these methods is that they under-emphasise the need for children to be taught the alphabetic code: the way in which individual
speech-sounds (phonemes) are represented by letters and combinations of letters.
The United Kingdom chapter of the Reading Reform Foundation was set up in 1989 to promote the teaching of the alphabetic code in a research-based way, and this remains its main aim.
RRF Governing Principles
• to promote research-based principles of reading instruction
• to promote the use of scientifically proven reading instruction programmes
• to promote the use of standardised reading tests at frequent intervals
• to provide information about effective teaching methods
• to work to ensure that governmental departments become accountable for the effectiveness of the
educational programmes they promote
• to disseminate information through the website and message forum on an ongoing basis