ITT and synthetic phonics – collecting experiences

Questions relating to the efficacy of SSP in schools often return to the issue of how teachers were trained, and how they are trained now – as well as to the quality of CPD.

Many people who are in favour of the current approach to using SSP in schools seem to feel that it is not taught properly/enough/at all in ITT – or at least, their experiences suggest to them that this has been the case so far.

Yet apparently ITT programmes will fail Ofsted if they do not teach SSP, so presumably all are now doing so.

Is this discrepancy the result of a slight lag in the effect of all ITT programmes teaching how to use SSP? Or is it more complex (for instance, there could be different approaches to teaching the subject within different ITT courses, some of which prove more useful in the classroom than others). There are so many potential ways to teach SSP to ITT students, with potentially hugely varying results in how they might engage with it once they are teaching.

A deeply important question is – what about the TAs? Are they confident and knowledgeable in their support of children’s literacy?

NB I have no idea at all of the truth (if there is one – there could be many); this post is basically a call for information, from teachers, trainers, ITT students, and anyone else with an interest in/knowledge of past and current situations.

Please comment – this seems to me to be an area in which greater clarity might prove to be extremely helpful in removing some urban myths.

Edited to add: Andrew Davies sent me this, which does seem to allow for great variability:

ofsted SSPAnd to add: there ‘s a thread in the RRF forum on the issue here.

And: I spoke to Keith Turvey (of the University of Brighton) on Twitter, who pointed out that ‘most ITT time is in school now’ and also said: ‘Most [ITT courses] set out expectations for SSP like we do but the execution on the job is down to schools and trainee, and the quality of trainee experience and opportunity varies significantly IMO. Thus partnership key.’

These seem some of the most important practical points, to me.