Coming Soon: UKLA and Owen Education New Series

Friday, May 01, 2015

The series aims to inspire and inform debate about the teaching of language, literacy and English to children and young people aged 3 to 19. The booklets draw on seminal studies and development work carried out
over many years, and provide examples of effective practice. They challenge some aspects of the new National Curriculum for English and its assessment arrangements, and propose alternatives.

Six booklets will be published on June 1st:

  • English, Language and Literacy 3 to 19: Summary: John Richmond, Peter Dougill and Mike Raleigh
  • Talk: John Richmond
  • Reading 3 to 7: John Richmond
  • Writing 3 to 7: John Richmond
  • Grammar and Knowledge about Language: John Richmond
  • Drama: John Richmond.

Four booklets will be published on September 1st:

  • Reading 7 to 16: Peter Traves
  • Writing 7 to 16: John Richmond
  • Media: Andrew Burn
  • English 16 to 19: Angela Goddard.

Price per booklet £12 (£11 to UKLA members) from the UKLA online Bookshop
For more information contact John Richmond:

Media Literacies SIG update

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This  new UKLA Special Interest Group in media literacy provides a network to bring literacy practitioners and media educators in the UK together and a platform for communication with policy makers, OFCOM and European / international media literacy research groups. Over the initial two years of the SIG's activities, it will aim to promote a research-informed approach to media literacy education and to promote media literacy as an essential element of literacy education in the 21st century; collate and support research-informed educational media literacy practice and disseminate this to both literacy and media educators to bring these two communities of practice together.

The group’s outputs so far have been presented at the Media Education Association conference at the British Film Institute in London and the Media Education Summit at Metropolitan University, Prague and the SIG will next form a symposia at the UKLA conference in July.

At the MEA event, it presented the outcome of the first research project and met with media teachers who were interested in the group. The SIG's objectives were shared with David Buckingham and Sonia Livingstone, whilst its other critical friend Alison Preston from OFCOM has also offered advice.

Two projects have been commissioned – a pilot study mapping the media literacy competences of students with a GCSE in Media Studies to pan-European MIL criteria and a co-creation project to develop media literacy resources for secondary teachers of English, History, ICT and Government and Politics.  The first project is complete and its findings will be published by the Journal of Media Literacy Education shortly, whilst the MEA / MES presentation on the research can be viewed here:

The second project has just begun, and the researchers will be working with teachers, who came forward to express an interest in the SIG following the MEA event, in three schools in Birmingham, London and Cambridge for the next year. The participating teachers have been funded by the project to join UKLA and attend the July conference.

For more information about this SIG or to express an interest in getting involved, please contact Julian McDougall –

English, Language and Literacy 3 to 19

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

UKLA and Owen Education have come together to produce a series of booklets on the teaching of language, literacy and English to children and young people aged 3 to 19. The aim of the series is to inspire and inform debate about school strategy. The booklets draw on seminal studies and development work carried out over many years.  The lead writer is John Richmond.

The booklets are being launched in London, Brighton and York during June and you are invited to join us.

You are invited to any of the three launches taking place as follows:

Tuesday 2 June 2015 at 6.00pm in the Fulton Lecture Theatre A, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QQ

Wednesday 3 June 2015 at 6.00pm in the Chapter Room, Strand Campus, King's College, London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Thursday 4 June 2015 at 6.00pm in the Kitchen@Alcuin, Alcuin College, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD

Refreshments and a free copy of the summary booklet for the series will be provided at each launch.

Six booklets will be available (in print and electronically) from 1 June:

  • Summary
  • Talk
  • Reading 3 to 7
  • Writing 3 to 7
  • Grammar and Knowledge about Language
  • Drama

The remaining four booklets will be available from 1 September:

  • Reading 7 to 16
  • Writing 7 to 16
  • Media
  • English 16 to 19

Price £12 each (£11 to UKLA members). Coming soon to the UKLA Bookshop.

Winners announced: UKLA Academic Book Award 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

The winner and highly commended authors are announced today for the UKLA Academic Book Award 2015

The panel- teachers, headteachers, consultants and HE lecturers considered the seven shortlisted books carefully. Subjects ranged from dialogic talk to diversity, from critical thinking through picture books to teaching Caribbean poetry, and from new literacies around the globe to building communities of readers and looking back at research into literacy over many years.  All shortlisted titles evidence a passion for the teaching of English, all make distinctive contributions to the field.

After much debate, our worthy winner is:

Margaret M Clark for Learning to be Literate: Insights from research for policy and practice

This self-published book charts over half a century of research, and is a timely reminder that rigorous research is essential for an informed view about how best to support children’s literacy development. The panel found it a moving record, of vital importance to classroom teachers and those who steer the processes of education.

In addtion, the panel highly commended:

Mary Roche for Developing Children's Critical Thinking through Picturebooks (published by Routledge)

The voices of children and teachers, richly engaged with picturebooks, resound enthrallingly in this enthusiastic, thoughtful and superbly well-informed account of productive classroom practice.

The award will be presented during the UKLA 51st International Conference, taking place in Nottingham from 10th to 12th July.

Visit the awards pages for more details.

Further critiques of synthetic phonics and the phonics check for 6 year olds in England

Friday, March 27, 2015

Two important critiques by Margaret Clark OBE, on synthetic phonics in literacy learning and the phonics check for 6 year olds in England, are published this week.

The first article, A Critique of Synthetic Phonics.. ..this is the evidence, published in Primary First  Issue 12 pages 22-26.

The second, Encouraging and supporting reading in primary schools in England: the next steps, was published in the Education Journal, Issue 228. 

We are grateful to Margaret Clark,  Primary First and the Education Journal for allowing us to publish the articles on the UKLA website.

Both articles, in addition to footnotes to the first article, can be downloaded below.


AA Critique of Synthetic Phonics.. ..this is the evidence by Margaret Clark

Footnotes to An Evidence-based Critique of Synthetic Phonics in Literacy Learning by Margaret Clark

Encouraging and supporting reading in primary schools in England: the next steps by Margaret Clark

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Carrie Ansell
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