UKLA is delighted to announce the winners of the UKLA Wiley-Blackwell Award 2016

Congratulations to the winners, and Wiley-Blackwell for their continued generosity in supporting this award.


The Journal of Research in Reading (JRR) winner is:

Duff, Fiona., Mengoni, Silvana E., Bailey, Alison M. and Snowling, Margaret J. (2015) Validity and Sensitivity of the Phonics Screening Check: Implications for Practice. 38(2), pp. 109-123.

Colin Harrison, chair, writes: “Duff and her colleagues broke new ground in addressing an important and controversial issue in England – the national phonics screening check – and asked three crucial questions. Is it valid? Is it sensitive? And is it necessary? Their answers, delivered via some interesting and innovative methodology and analysis, were: yes, it’s valid; yes, it’s reasonably sensitive; and no, it isn’t necessary – not only does it add little to predictive validity of teacher judgment, the time and money spent on the testing would be better spent on resources to continue to train and support teachers in the knowledge, assessment and teaching of early literacy skills. In answering the three questions, Duff and her colleagues provided interesting data on how teachers carry out the test, and on the sometimes misunderstood concepts of sensitivity (correctly identifying those who are at risk) and specificity (correctly identifying those who are not at risk). The panel also appreciated the fact that Duff and her colleagues were clear and direct in pointing out the policy implications of their work.

The Literacy winner is for the following paper:

Wiltse, Lynne. (2015) Not just ‘sunny days’: Aboriginal students connect out-of-school literacy resources with school literacy practices. 49(2), pp. 60-68.

“Wiltse’s paper reports a research project that began by investigating the home and school literacy practices and knowledge of ‘at-risk’ Canadian Aboriginal students. Many researchers are familiar with ‘funds of knowledge’ and ‘third space’ approaches that seek to build bridges between home and school literacies. Wiltse’s study uses these frameworks to show how the project not only brought together teachers and students from very different cultural backgrounds, but also changed the school curriculum in ways that offered a template for moving beyond racism and exclusion towards inclusivity and social justice. The panel particularly noted the careful balance in the study between acknowledging the barriers and challenges that need to be overcome in such endeavours, and the pragmatic idealism that is needed to drive them forward. Her paper captures the immediacy of cultural practices such as dance and hunting, but also offers a splendid and well-theorised paradigm for culturally sensitive research in this important field” – Colin Harrison.

The winners will be honoured at a wine reception at the UKLA International Conference 8-10 July 2016, in Bristol.

Panel: Colin Harrison (Chair), Lynda Graham, Rosie Flewitt, Clare Kelly, Becky Parry, Wayne Tennent, Carole Torgerson.

The shortlists were selected by panels convened by JRR editor Julia Carroll and Literacy editors Jill McClay and Clare Dowdall.

The panel would like to congratulate all of those authors who were nominated for the award, and Wiley-Blackwell for their continued generosity in supporting this award. 

View the 2016 shortlists

Find out more about the award and see the past winners

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