We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Phonics : reading policy and the evidence of effectiveness from a systematic ‘tertiary’ review.

Torgerson, Carole and Brooks, Greg and Gascoine, Louise and Higgins, Steve (2019) 'Phonics : reading policy and the evidence of effectiveness from a systematic ‘tertiary’ review.', Research papers in education., 34 (2). pp. 208-238.


Ten years after publication of two reviews of the evidence on phonics, a number of British policy initiatives have firmly embedded phonics in the curriculum for early reading development. However, uncertainty about the most effective approaches to teaching reading remains. A definitive trial comparing different approaches was recommended in 2006, but never undertaken. However, since then, a number of systematic reviews of the international evidence have been undertaken, but to date they have not been systematically located, synthesised and quality appraised. This paper seeks to redress that gap in the literature. It outlines in detail the reading policy development, mainly in England, but with reference to international developments, in the last 10 years. It then reports the design and results of a systematic ‘tertiary’ review of all the relevant systematic reviews and meta-analyses in order to provide the most up-to-date overview of the results and quality of the research on phonics.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research papers in education on 2 January 2018 available
Date accepted:17 December 2017
Date deposited:01 February 2018
Date of first online publication:02 January 2018
Date first made open access:02 July 2019

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar