A 2010 report by Ofsted (the schools inspection agency) declared that “the best primary schools in England teach virtually every child to read”, and claimed that a sample of 12 of these schools demonstrates that their success is based on “a very rigorous and sequential approach to developing speaking and listening and teaching reading, and writing and spelling through systematic phonics” (Ofsted 2010:4).
The Clackmannanshire Study: In February 2005 the Scottish Office released the seven year follow up to the Clackmannanshire Study. The Clackmannanshire area was seen as a socially deprived area with many children having significant educational difficulties and coming from homes suffering poverty related issues. After a system of synthetic phonics was introduced to the schools in the area, the report concluded children taught to read using this model were a staggering 3 ½ years (in terms of reading age) ahead of controls. It was also surprisingly reported that boys outperformed girls on all measures and children from more socially deprived homes scored virtually as well as those from more advantageous settings.
Numerous studies, including the ones noted above, have all concluded that children who learn to read using the synthetic phonics model invariably outperform learners taught using the more traditional analytic phonics method and as such are far better equipped to cope with future educational and vocational demands placed upon them.