Handwriting is a skill which must be taught. The aim in teaching handwriting is for each child to develop a personal style which remains legible at speed. This objective requires the systematic teaching of handwriting. Teachers need to ascertain what are the important factors to consider when teaching handwriting and how to assess pupil performance. Chris Bailey reviews research on some of the factors affecting writing – pencil grip, finger pressure, writing implements and writing paper – and the literature relating to the assessment of legibility and speed. The author is headteacher of a primary school in the London Borough of Enfield.