By the late 1980s half the nation's children were receiving eleven years of progressivist schooling that failed to give them even the elementary basis of education that was completed by the age of seven in earlier days. This great reading disaster was caused by the 'look-say' method of teaching, which presented whole words not individual letters. This book explains the causes and provides the solution to this problem.
In 2006, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills has ordered schools to use the phonic method but there seems little evidence that its implications are properly understood or that any serious re-training programme for teachers is being put in place. The authors believe their explanations and recommendations in this book are thus needed just as much as ever.