Our Social Affairs correspondent, Christine Alsford, has been finding out more about the Phonics tests that begin in schools this week - and the debate surrounding this approach to reading.
All this week teachers will be screening children in Year 1 to find out how well they're learning to read. The "Phonics Screening Check" confronts children with a mixture of 20 real words and 20 more totally made up ones or nonsense words.
Pupils have to read them all - regardless of the fact they don't make any sense - and read 32 of them correctly in order to achieve a pass. Letters are sent home to parents explaining whether or not children pass - and if they don't they have to resit later.
So is the screening a good idea? When the screening check was introduced last year four in ten pupils failed to reach the expected standard.