RESULTS from a new phonics screening check for children have been published for the first time.

The test is taken by youngsters in Year 1 and aims to find out what their baseline levels of reading are – and how many are likely to need additional help.

The screenings which took place in June were carried out by teachers to assess if children had successfully decoded words using phonics principles, Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing by focusing on the spelling sound patterns that represent them.

Of the 7,194 children taking it in Oxfordshire, 57 per cent reached expected levels when looking at a list of 40 words.

That means 3,093 were not at the level they should be and may need more support.

And of the 830 five and six year olds in the county for whom English is a second language, 51 per cent passed the check.

But only 39 per cent of the 890 children who are eligible for free school meals – a key indicator for deprivation – managed to achieve expected levels.

Nationally, 58 per cent of all children met the required standards.