Last reviewed 20 June 2022

Ofsted has published the latest in a series of reviews into different subjects across the curriculum, this time exploring a wide range of research relating to English, to identify factors that can contribute to high-quality curriculums, pedagogy, assessment and schools’ systems for managing the subject.

The review recognises that English is a complex subject that combines the disciplines of English language and literature.

Studying English is, it insists, vital to understanding the rest of the curriculum, as well as for educational success beyond school. But more than this, it goes on, English allows pupils to explore the power and beauty of literature and language.

With a core theme being the importance of progression in reading, the review highlights teaching approaches that could raise the attainment of pupils in English, starting from early years education.

HM Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, said: “More than any other subject, English — and especially reading — is fundamental to pupils’ educational success. But English is so much more than the gateway to success in other subjects. Through studying literature, pupils’ eyes are opened to the human experience; they explore meaning and ambiguity as well as the beauty and power of language.”

Available here, the review sets out the national context in relation to English and summarises Ofsted’s review of research into factors that can affect the quality of education in this subject.