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Dyslexia Specialists Since 1993

22 June 2009

- £10 MILLION INVESTMENT IN DYSLEXIA TRAINING AND 4000 SPECIALIST TEACHERS -

- "NO CHILD SHOULD BE HELD BACK" - BALLS -

Education expert Sir Jim Rose has today submitted his review into the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia and literacy difficulties. Accepting Sir Jim's recommendations, Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, has responded by committing £10 million to fund specialist teaching and support for schools and parents.

4,000 teachers will be funded to train in specialist dyslexia teaching over the next two years - one for every local group of schools.

Ed Balls asked Sir Jim Rose to examine how schools can best identify and provide for children with dyslexia. The Children's Plan included a commitment to do more to improve outcomes for children with special educational needs - this extra investment will allow schools to deliver the high quality support children with dyslexia need.

Sir Jim says all schools need access to three levels of expertise:

First: There should be up to date, accessible information about literacy difficulties available for all teachers so they can adjust their teaching for children with dyslexia

Second: There should be courses that enable schools to develop expertise in improving outcomes for children with literacy difficulties;

Third: Children who need intensive support should have access to a specialist teacher.

Ed Balls has today also commissioned further guidance and training for all schools on responding to children with literacy difficulties. Teachers will be encouraged to access an online course providing them with advanced skills to give extra support to those children who need it.

Sir Jim Rose said:

"It hardly needs to be said that the ability to read well is key to success in education and an essential 'life skill'. Responses to overcoming dyslexia and other literacy difficulties must be robust and part of a continued drive to develop literacy in all children, especially in primary schools.

"I am very pleased that all of the recommendations of the review have been accepted. I hope they will help policy makers and providers to strengthen practice, and assure parents that provision for children with dyslexia will be as good as we can make it."

Ed Balls, during a visit to Lyndhurst School in Southwark, will today thank Sir Jim for his comprehensive review and will accept every recommendation.

Ed Balls said:

"The Children's Plan contained a commitment to provide children with dyslexia the help and personalised learning they need in order to fulfil their potential. By acting on Sir Jim's recommendations we will equip schools and teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to deliver the best education to children with dyslexia.

"No child should be held back by a special educational need. I have met many parents who have struggled to get the right support for their children. I am personally very committed to improving this support and making it more easily accessible to all children and parents who need it.

"Sir Jim's recommendations mean that every child's reading needs will be monitored, those who need extra help will receive one to one support, and children with severe literacy difficulties will have the help of a specialist dyslexia teacher."

Sir Jim's final report makes 19 recommendations on: assessing and advancing children's progress, improving support and guidance to schools and parents, and strengthening teaching expertise and intervention programmes.

Key recommendations in Sir Jim's report are:

The Department should fund teachers to undertake specialist training in teaching children with dyslexia, to provide substantially improved access to specialist expertise in all schools;

The Department should commission online courses for teachers on selecting and using techniques for giving extra help with literacy;

The Department should commission clear guidance for parents and schools on the use and availability of literacy help;

Schools should evaluate their methods of delivering extra help with literacy and make sure they have the expertise required to deliver these;

The Department should continue funding a helpline that provides advice to parents and people working in schools on dyslexia and literacy difficulties.

Sir Jim's report considered the views and experiences of both teachers and parents, and children and young people with dyslexia. Sir Jim also consulted dyslexia organisations, including No to Failure who have been trailblazing specialist dyslexia training and teaching in some schools.

The Government will continue to work with the Dyslexia-Specific Learning Difficulties Trust on how best to implement all of Sir Jim's recommendations.

Editor's Notes
This press notice relates to 'England'

1. The remit for the review, call for evidence and original press notice/written ministerial statement is at http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/default.aspx?PageFunction=productdetails&PageMode=publications&ProductId=DCSF-00659-2009

Dyslexia: A Working Definition

Sir Jim used the following working definition of dyslexia:

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.

It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.

Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.

A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well founded intervention.

Contact Details
Public Enquiries 0870 000 2288, info@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk
Press Notice 2009/0114