The Reading Framework

Teaching the foundations of Literacy

Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. Through these, they develop communication skills for education and for working with others: in school, in training and at work. Pupils who find it difficult to learn to read are likely to struggle across the curriculum, since English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching. This is why the government is committed to continuing to raise standards of literacy for all.

This Reading Framework guidance is for primary schools, initial teacher training (ITT) partnerships, specialist provision and others in England. It focuses on the early stages of teaching reading. Its key objective is to help schools meet their expectations around early reading as set out in the national curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework. It also aligns with Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework.

The guidance aims to:

  • set out some of the research underpinning the importance of talk, stories and systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) in the teaching of reading
  • provide practical support for high-quality teaching, including assessment and the importance of ‘fidelity to the programme’4
  • support schools to evaluate their teaching of early reading, especially in Reception and year 1, and identify how to improve provision if weaknesses are found
  • explain the importance of systematic phonics teaching for older pupils who are at risk of failing to learn to read because they cannot decode well enough
  • support schools working with parents to help their children learn to read.

Full guidance is available on the government website:

Download: Reading Framework School Evaluation