Highlights of the week ending 19 May

This week, PIRLS 2021 (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) league tables were published, with England rising to fourth place, from joint eighth out of 50 in 2016. Schools Minister Nick Gibb said that the rise is thanks to primary school teachers’ “commitment to reading, their commitment to phonics and embracing of the phonics approach introduced by the government”, whilst Schools Week analysis showed that the rankings rise is mostly explained by drops in attainment by students in other countries caused by the pandemic. The research was carried out, collaboratively, by The Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA) and Pearson.