Guidance on how to complete the self assessment form with the essential core criteria and supporting information.


Validation of systematic synthetic phonics programmes: application form

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Validation of systematic synthetic phonics programmes: supporting documentation



Since 2010, the government has sought to embed the effective teaching of phonics. We are committed to continuing to raise literacy standards ensuring all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can read fluently and with understanding.

To achieve this ambition, we recognise that more is needed to ensure all children have access to best practice phonics teaching.

As part of this, we are publishing updated essential core criteria for systematic synthetic phonics (SPP) programmes and launching a validation process.

This guidance consists of the:

  • self assessment form
  • essential core criteria
  • supporting documentation to help you complete the form

When completing the self assessment form you should:

  • demonstrate how the programme meets each of the 16 essential core criteria
  • provide electronic evidence of resources for the panel to review

The supporting documentation covers:

  • the 16 essential core criteria published SSP programmes must meet
  • further explanatory notes
  • details for publishers of new programmes and those wishing to bring a programme for validation based on Letters and Sounds
  • timelines for the panel process
  • details of the appeals and complaints procedure

Published 1 October 2010
Last updated 1 April 2021 + show all updates

  1. Page updated to include new essential core criteria and accompanying self assessment form for systematic synthetic phonics (SPP) programmes.

  2. First published.