The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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Reading is easy – so why bother to assess phonological awareness in young children?

By Diane King

We live in a society that places a high value on literacy skills and, if nothing else, we expect schools to teach our children to read and write. However, literacy difficulties are common and can be persistent, impacting not only on school experience, academic achievement and later life choices, but also on many practical issues of daily living. Continue reading


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V is for vocational… V is for valuable!

By Sarah Lynch

As a parent with (some) knowledge of the educational choices facing young people, I am already wondering what pathway my son will take…and he’s only five years old! Parental influence is so important, and our views are often swayed by the ‘traditional’ academic routes we might have taken ourselves. But there are other valuable routes available to young people that we should consider. Continue reading