Margaret Sanders, formerly a Senior Lecturer in the Education Department of Wolverhampton Polytechnic, first devised the MPC reading system in the early 1970s. Margaret Sanders continued to develop and distribute the MPC reading system until she passed away on Thursday 11th June 2009. She died peacefully and we are proud to say lived, and worked, at home right up and to the end.
”Sometime ago, when I was an Education Lecturer in a Teachers Training College, it was part of my job to specialise in the teaching of reading and to supervise students who were choosing it for their third year special study. As I was doing a part-time higher degree myself, I decided to do my research in the same subject, and as I had taught at one time using the Initial Teaching Alphabet, I thought I would try to devise something which would overcome the difficulties of our irregular phonic system without changing normal spelling. I investigated various uses of diacritical marks and other methods and what is now described as Minimal Phonic Cues or MPC was the result. After a number of smaller experiments, I managed to get my system tried with two parallel classes in a Primary School, one using MPC and the other as control. The results were good and my University supervisor said that I should try and get published. Before it was accepted, I was asked to produce a Teachers Book and three workbooks, but even the publicity leaflets they produced are enough to explain how it should be used. It was well reproduced and sold well, but is now out of print and I only have a few copies. At the time, systematic teaching was not very fashionable, but the authorities being now concerned with the amount of illiteracy and stressing the need for phonic analysis, my idea may be well received. My main motivation now is to make it available so that adults and children with poor sight memory, who I know from experience need to build up words, will be able to learn more easily using a method free from the irregularities of our English spelling without altering it. As one boy said when introduced to Minimal Phonic Cues. Cool this really works! Why didn’t you show me it before? My hope is that, when it is on the internet, it will be available to anyone who needs it.”