Phonics Monitoring Feedback 2024

Thank you to those schools that had Phonics monitoring visits this year. We appreciate the time that every school gave us to check the Phonics Screening Checks (PSCs) were being administered fairly and that the Standards Testing Agency (STA) guidance was being adhered to. We visited 34 schools, out of a possible 249, witnessed 10 phonics checks being carried out and saw some exemplary practice across many schools which we wanted to share with you.

Similar to the Key Stage 2 monitoring visits, it was evident the checks were sensitively and caringly carried out, as well as following the STA guidance to the letter. Thank you to all staff involved that were part of the Phonics Screening Checks.

Some of the exemplary practices seen:

  • Phonics materials double locked away, with key access limited to 2 or 3 people (not involved in the PCSs).
  • Delivery note signed when the papers arrived, and a log of access kept.
  • Staff were trained and clear about how to conduct the PSCs, using the script to ensure consistency.
  • Staff know the children and know the way they speak so that if they do have a speech impediment, they can recognise this and mark accordingly.  
  • Staff had read the administration guidance and watched the video prior to the checks to refamiliarise themselves with the process, and are aware of any changes.
  • The practice words were used effectively to ensure the children were settled and ready to begin the check, and knew what to do to be successful.
  • A clear, quiet and comfortable space was used for the checks, with displays covered if appropriate.
  • The most vulnerable were very well supported.

When opening your phonics screening check materials, please do check that you have the correct number of items in each pack, as indicated on the front sheet. We found two schools had more than 30 sheets on their answer pads and have raised this with the STA.