I posted this http://literacyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014 ... on-us.html
on my blog yesterday. It makes public my exchange of emails with Charlie Taylor's secretary. [Charlie Taylor is head of the the National College for Teaching and Leadership.]
I'm well aware that one shouldn't get paranoid about the resistance by almost anyone occupying senior positions within the educational establishment to our advocacy of synthetic or linguistic phonics, but the reply I received really is quite typical of the kind of perfunctory response which I (and Debbie, as well as many others of you on the RRF) have received over the years.
As I've made clear on this forum in the past, I have absolutely no confidence that anyone in government or in most of the universities and training bodies has a more than casual understanding of what phonics teaching is about. Yes, they spout this and that, according to the advice they receive from their advisers; and, at the moment, it goes our way. The trouble is that their knowledge of this area of teaching and learning is so weak and shallow they are immediately pulled in another direction the moment they are faced with an authoritative-sounding opponent, such as in the example of the kind of rubbish Morag (learning?) Styles occasionally gives voice to. Even when we listen to people (who shall remain nameless!) who are charged with the implementation of policy, the moment the discussion begins to delve into the detail, the more shaky their discourse becomes. I'll give one example: I recently listened to a very senior person in ed circles talking about SP and it quickly became evident that they didn't know the difference between SP/LP and onset and 'rime'.
I'm sure the effrontery contained in the offer to Charlie Taylor will make Jenny cringe a bit but the fact is that we need to be more vigorous in taking the arguments to them and challenging them at every level. And, by the way, I'm a huge admirer of all of you who do battle on the public forums, such as the TES and MumsNet, day in and day out. What stamina, Maizie!