Doncaster children's phonics skills rebound following coronavirus pandemic
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While children across England have improved their phonics skills in the last year, they remain worse than before successive lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
The Association of School and College Leaders said the recent improvement is a testament to the "superb work of school staff" despite inadequate government investment.
Department for Education figures show 80 per cent of children aged between five and seven in Key Stage One in Doncaster met the expected standard in a range of phonics tests, which assess their speaking, reading and pronunciation.
This was up from 76 per cent the year before, and in line with pre-pandemic levels.
Nationally, 79 per cent of Key Stage One children met the expected standard in phonics assessment – up from 75 per cent, but below 82 per cent in 2018-19.
Tiffnie Harris, primary and data specialist at the ASCL, said the figures were "great", and heralded the hard work of schools throughout the pandemic.
Ms Harris said: "Young children’s early learning was affected by that disruption and it is a testament to the superb work of school staff that results are improving despite the lack of adequate government investment in education recovery.
"However, schools are facing severe challenges because of staff shortages, underfunding, and high rates of child poverty, and it is vital that the Government addresses these issues."
The figures also show more children in Doncaster reached the expected standard in reading, with 65 per cent and 66 per cent displaying the requisite reading skills at Key Stage One in 2021-22 and last year respectively.
Similarly, children's writing skills also improved in the last year, up from 58 per cent to 59 per cent.
Across England, 68 per cent of Key Stage One pupils met the expected standard in reading, up from 67 per cent in 2022. Similarly, 60 per centmet the expected standard in writing, up from 58 per cent in 2022.
However, attainment in both subjects remained below pre-pandemic levels of 75 per cent and 69 per cent.
A Department for Education spokesperson said it is "pleased to see that pupils are continuing to catch up on learning following the pandemic".