The scale of the problem of students leaving secondary school unable to read is an unnecessary tragedy. This entirely preventable situation is exacerbated by some common misconceptions:
1 If students haven’t learnt to read by the time they reach secondary school, it is too late.
Secondary schools usually have two responses regarding these students. First, they believe that it is the role of primary schools to teach reading. It most certainly is – ideally students will be well on the way to becoming confident readers by the end of KS1. However, this does not relieve secondary schools of their responsibilities to all their students. The second response is: if students haven’t learnt to read by the end of KS2, there must be something wrong with them, so the school will need to put in place additional supports to compensate for this problem.
Surely, the most fundamental aim of schools is to teach children to read…
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