I have always followed the controversy surrounding the teaching of reading in the UK with great interest, not least because I use a phonics-based approach with my class to develop their decoding skills. I have great issues with the narrow view of phonics taken by the DCSF guidance and scheme of work. So it was with great interest that I found this inaugural lecture by Kathy Hall at the Open University. Some of the statements she makes ring so true, not only for the teaching of reading but the foundations of education and where it is heading. I love the way she talks about how literacy research cited to justify policy should reflect a broad understanding of literacy, should meet high standards of quality and have the potential to improve learning. It might sound the obvious… but why doesn’t it happen?