Phonics should not be the only game in town; it is just one of many equally valid and useful methods of teaching children how to read. Phonics checks for six-year-olds risk doing more damage than good."
Phonics is an essential part of early literacy, but this approach risks distorting teaching and reduces freedom."
More top news
Travellers hoping to get away for the Easter weekend are being warned of potentially serious problems on the road and rail networks.
Left-footed footballs, backwards web searches, police camels and an eco-friendly Jeremy Clarkson are among today's traditional tall tales.
There was an "alarming" increase in the number of death sentences issued around the world last year, Amnesty International has said.