The attainment gap in phonics between children eligible for free school meals and all other pupils has widened slightly, according to the latest Department for Education data.
The phonics check is initially taken at the end of Year 1 and can be retaken at the end of Year 2. The proportion of poorer pupils reaching the expected standard dropped by 1% to 68% between 2016 and 2017. The percentage of children not on free school meals reaching the standard rose from 83% to 84%.
James Turner, the EEF’s Deputy Chief Executive, comments: