The choice of school can be critical to a dyslexic child’s educational future. CReSTeD can help, says Brendan Wignall.

The Council for Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils (CReSTeD) is a charity set up to provide guidance and assurance to parents seeking a school for their child with specific learning difficulties (SpLD)—of these the main difficulty is dyslexia. CReSTeD works with support from British Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Action, Dyslexia-SpLD Trust and the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre and is the key reference point and a symbol of quality when seeking a school with SpLD provision.

CReSTeD acts as a source of school names parents can use as their first step towards making a placement decision, which will be critical to their child’s educational future and is a valuable resource for parents, educational advisers and schools.

The CReSTeD Register covers all levels of provision for Dyslexic (SpLD) pupils. There are several lists of schools offering such provision, but only CReSTeD actually visits schools to ensure they meet the basic criteria set by the Council. Schools are then revisited every three years to ensure the criteria are maintained.

Which school should I choose?
The levels of provision at schools are divided into six broad categories. These categories are not a hierarchical grading of the quality of provision—they are there because children have different needs and the categories go some way towards matching the level of the pupil’s needs to the level of provision at the school. An educational psychologist’s report should offer guidance as to the level of provision relevant to the child.

As an example, a child at the severe end of the dyslexia spectrum will probably require a Category SPS school, whereas a child with, say, only some delay in spelling skills may be suitably provided for in a school from Category WS. The categories enable CReSTeD to offer this guidance. CReSTeD was founded to help parents. It has had and will continue to have influence on the standards of provision for SpLD pupils.

Brendan Wignall
Author: Brendan Wignall

Brendan Wignall
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Brendan Wignall has been Headmaster of Ellesmere College since 1996 and is currently Chair of CReSTeD.

Twitter: @CReSTeDDyslexia


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