Teachers lack skills to support dyslexics

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Nearly three quarters of qualified teachers believe that they started working in the classroom without the necessary skills to teach children with dyslexia.

A new report by the charity the Driver Youth Trust suggests that more than half (52 per cent) of teachers surveyed did not receive any training on dyslexia during their initial training course, while 18 per cent say that the training they did receive amounted to less than one hour. As a result, 74 per cent do not feel satisfied that their initial training provided them with the skills they needed to identify and teach children with dyslexia.

The failure to effectively support learning for dyslexic children has a huge cost, not just for individuals, but also on society, the report argues. Poor literacy, of which dyslexia is a major cause, damages employment and life chances and costs the country an estimated £2.5 billion every year.

Responding to the report, Mel Byrne, Director of the Dyslexia-SpLD Trust, said that it “paints a worrying picture of current teacher training, with new teachers not currently required to teach their students how to recognise dyslexia, or how to help dyslexic pupils in the classroom through dyslexia friendly teaching”.

The Trust has joined other dyslexia charities, and cross-party Parliamentarians, in calling for a mandatory module on SEN, including dyslexia, to be included in all initial teacher training courses.

The Driver Trust report, The Fish in the Tree: Why we are failing children with dyslexia, is available at:
http://driveryouthtrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/DYT-FishintheTree-LR.pdf

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