Letters & Sounds & Phonics Programme validation

Email dated 18.05.2021

Dear EYFS Leaders, 

Re Letters & Sounds and Phonics Programme Validation

We would like to draw your attention to the latest blog from the DfE to explain expectations around validated phonics programmes and how schools might still use Letters and Sounds (2007) moving forward. 

This DfE blog has been published in response to its recent guidance on the validation of phonics programmes. It explains the Department’s guidance for Letters and Sounds and how, although it is not a ‘validated programme’ on its own, it may still be used by school’s who wish to, within ‘a rigorous and systematic’ approach that meets the criteria outlined (except for schools receiving support from an English Hub). 

We encourage EYFS leaders to read this DfE blog carefully and share with head teachers, governors, and other senior school leaders.

With best wishes
The Early Years Team




The removal of Letters and Sounds 2007 from the Department’s list of validated phonics programmes – teachers’ questions answered – The Education Hub

The way in which phonics is taught in schools has evolved significantly in the last 10 years. A key upcoming change in recognition of that evolution is the removal of the widely used 2007 Letters and Sounds handbook from gov.uk and from the Department’s list of validated phonics programmes.


Cc: Lead Teachers and Early Years Consultants


Deborah Brown - (General Enquries)
Dawn Butler - (General Enquiries)
Nicola Theobald - (General and Nursery School Enquiries)