You are here:

Last reviewed on 30 July 2021
Ref: 4548
School types: All · School phases: Primary

You're required to administer a past version of the phonics screening check to year 2 pupils who missed the year 1 summer check because of coronavirus. Be clear on your responsibilities, including how to report the results to your local authority.

This article is based on the DfE's latest guidance on administering the phonics screening check to year 2 pupils in the second half of the autumn term. It's a statutory requirement to administer the test and it applies to all maintained schools, academies, free schools and maintained nursery schools with eligible pupils. 

What is it and who needs to take it this autumn

It's a short assessment to make sure all pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It contains:

  • 40 words divided into 2 sections of 20 words
  • A mixture of real words and pseudo-words (nonsense or fake words). Pseudo-words are accompanied by a picture of an imaginary creature

This is explained in guidance on the structure of the check from the Standards and Testing Agency (STA).

This will mostly be incoming year 2 pupils who missed the summer

More from The Key


Bitesize training with a big impact

Our on-demand training has your whole board covered and lets them learn at a time and pace that suits them.

Help your new governors hit the ground running with our expertly-designed induction training, and our role-specific courses support your link governors develop key skills and confidence in their role.


New eLearning: DSL refresher training

Your DSL’s training should be refreshed at least once every 2 years. 

Designed in collaboration with safeguarding experts, our 2.5 hour online refresher training course reminds DSLs how to put their knowledge into practice, with in-depth, real-world scenarios.


The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.