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debbie hepplewhiteWelcome

Welcome to this website dedicated to supporting initial teacher training (ITT) and continuing professional development (CPD) in the systematic synthetic phonics teaching principles (SSP).

These are extremely exciting and important times as we unpick the complex English alphabetic code and make it more teachable, and learnable, than ever before - for English speakers and for learners with English as an additional or new language.

This is a ‘work in progress’ as university lecturers/tutors, programme authors, students, teachers, publishers, politicians, inspectors, learners and parents explore partnerships and lay stronger foundations in basic literacy skills in an endeavour to raise standards of literacy for all.

Whilst the main political focus has been on the initial teaching of reading, our CPD journey continues to see how well we can build on early reading and spelling instruction to teach spelling and grammar as a continuum and, alongside, how well we can develop speech in the rich spoken language of English.

You will find links to significant papers and sites and links to useful resources via this website – and also an open discussion forum to address issues arising in the reading debate plus practical suggestions for the minutiae that teachers need to deal with daily in their provision of synthetic phonics teaching.

Who might find this site useful?

University lecturers, student teachers, teachers, teaching assistants, teacher-trainers, researchers, literacy advisors, publishers of literacy resources, programme authors, politicians with an interest in literacy and educational standards, educational journalists and commentators, TV and radio producers, tutors, parents, people in the field of dyslexia and special needs organisations, HMI, Ofsted and local authority inspectors, people in the field of early years provision.

This site is intended for an international audience as so many countries opt to teach the English language as a second or additional language - and everyone is welcome to contribute.


In his speech on 15th March 2012, her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, proposed 10 steps to raise national standards in literacy including:

Step 7: We will sharpen our focus on phonics in our routine inspections of all initial teacher education provision – primary, secondary and FE.

Step 8: In addition, it is unlikely that any provider of primary initial teacher education will be judged outstanding unless the quality of its phonics training is also outstanding.

Step 9: We will also commence a series of unannounced inspections focused solely on the training of phonics teaching in providers of primary initial teacher education. These phonics-focused inspections could trigger a full inspection where weaknesses are found.

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