The nature of literacy is an issue of global debate. When the National Literacy Strategy [NLS] was introduced into UK schools it was arguably the most ambitious educational reform programme in the world, and the controversy necessarily intensified. How can the impact of such reforms be assessed? In its ten year history the NLS affected every primary and secondary teacher in the country and, therefore, every child. The initiative provoked a widespread recognition of the importance of literacy for all children and attracted the attention of many other governments. This book is the first definitive and objective review and evaluation of the impact of these literacy reforms. With contributions from the most respected experts on literacy and English from the UK and from across the world, this unprecedented critical examination explores: How teaching policy and practice were impacted by the reforms How the NLS came into being, how it was operated, what it did and did not achieve What we can learn from its successes and failures The most important aspects of the reforms, from policing grammar to the impact of 'The Literacy Game' and 'informed prescription' on teaching. Whether you are a policy maker or classroom teacher, this book is an invaluable resource to anyone concerned about literacy. It provides readers from around the world with a genuine and evidence-based perspective on this immense initiative, lucidly evaluating the lessons learned from both its ambitions and its failures.