Phonics data collection for Year 2 pupils – Autumn Term 2021

This is a statutory requirement.


The phonics screening check, is an annual statutory data collection for Year 1 pupils that takes place each June.

Phonics teaches people to read by relating sounds with letters and words. The phonics screening check is designed to check whether pupils understand phonics to an appropriate standard.

You must submit phonics screening check assessment data for year 1 pupils in all:

  • schools maintained by the local authority
  • academies
  • free schools
  • special schools (schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities)

Due to the COVID pandemic the Department for Education and Standards and Testing Agency delayed the assessment and return of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check which was due in June 2021.

What happens next?

The Phonics Screening assessment data is to be collected for the present Year 2 pupils that missed the June collection when they were in Year 1.  This will now take place in the latter part of the Autumn Term.

At schools discretion a choice of the past papers from 2017, 2018 or 2019 can be used for the screening.  The threshold mark will once again be 32.  Marks from 0 – 40 can be recorded.

Schools should return results to their local authority, before the end of the Autumn Term.

Important Dates

Deadline for schools requiring Braille copies of the test to apply to the DFE for materials is 22 October 2021.

Schools must forward CTF result files to Local Authorities by the end of the Autumn term or by the date given by their LA.

Local Authorities must forward the results to the DfE between 6 December 21 and 21 January 2022.

 Please Note:

No data is to be collected for Year 3 pupils that missed a year 2 resit in June and no future data will be collected for those pupils.

No data is to be collected for current Year 1 students as that collection will happen as usual in June 2022.

Guidance for SIMS Schools (please click links below)

The CTF file and Wizards for this return will be available in the SIMS Autumn Release. Schools should have updated to SIMS Autumn 2021 version 7.202 to check you are on the correct version

From your SIMS Homepage: Go to Help | About

Check that the version of is 7.202  (release date 19 November 2021)

SIMS Schools – Administration of the Autumn 2021 Phonics Check

Phonics Wizard not showing

Creating CTF for pupils in more than one year group

Uploading Phonics CTF – Devon Schools

Please click below for guidance for Arbor Schools

Arbor Schools – The Autumn 2021 Phonics screening check

Please click below links for copies DFE guidance and materials.

DFE collection guidance

DFE administering the check guidance

DFE Autumn Term 2021

2017, 2018 and 2019 Phonics screening check materials



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