More than half of South Australia's Year 1 students do not meet the standards for early reading.

The phonics check is meant to measure how well literary skills are developing for the state’s almost 14.000 Year 1 students.

This year’s results show only 43 per cent of students met expected standards - decoding at least 28 words out of 40.

Four per cent of students did not get a single word right.

“There is clearly work to be done to improve literacy outcomes for students across the state, and we remain committed to supporting our educators to achieve this,” SA Education Minister John Gardner said.

“Identifying these students early, before they really begin struggling with reading, is a particularly important aspect as to why the Marshall Liberal Government has implemented the check.

“Our teachers are now in a better position than ever to identify where support for students is needed and to respond with the appropriate interventions early.

“Those interventions and supports have already begun being implemented by identified students' classroom teachers as a result of the check.

“A strong foundation in literacy is an essential foundation upon which so much of a student's later educational success is built.

“We remain confident that the suite of measures the government is putting in place to improve literacy outcomes for South Australian children will see strong improvements in the years ahead.”

State-wide phonics screening will take place again in August.