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Systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) teaching programme validation

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 (SSP) 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

  • 1st for EPA - Assessment made easy

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

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