House of Lords
Lord Quirk (Crossbench)
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the report Dyslexia Still Matters, published in June by Dyslexia Action; and what steps they will be taking to ensure (1) the earliest possible identification of children at risk, (2) the engagement by all schools with best practice, as highlighted in the report's intervention table, and (3) the production of guidance for inspections in relation to effective support and intervention for those with dyslexia.
Lord Hill of Oareford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Education; Conservative)
This is a helpful report that acknowledges the progress that has been made in supporting dyslexic pupils. We must, however, build on these improvements.
We are providing more training and support for teachers, special educational needs co-ordinators and teaching assistants so that dyslexic pupils are identified earlier and get quicker access to the support they need. Government funds have supported 3,200 teachers to take specialist dyslexia training courses approved by the British Dyslexia Association. The national scholarship programme for teachers has a clear focus on supporting teachers to improve and extend their knowledge and expertise when working with pupils with SEN, including in specific impairments, such as dyslexia. The scholarship scheme for teachers has already made awards to around 400 teachers to undertake specialist postgraduate qualifications.
We have recently published on-line advanced level materials for teachers and other professionals to help them to consider the needs of those children currently identified with dyslexia and how best to support them. This builds on a recommendation from Brian Lamb's inquiry into parental confidence in the SEN system (2009).
Of the first 121 designated teaching schools, 95% have been judged as outstanding for the quality of learning and progress of pupils with special educational needs. This will ensure that their expertise in teaching children with SEN and disabilities is shared and built into the training and development of all teachers. We have also awarded grants to the Dyslexia-Specific Learning Difficulty Trust to raise awareness and support parents and schools, including an interventions for literacy website (www.interventionsforliteracy.org.uk) and to Dyslexia Action (with the RNIB) to make more than 1,500 core texts available in digital format for dyslexic pupils or those with visual impairment.
When evaluating the achievement of pupils, Ofsted inspectors must consider how well all pupils have achieved since joining the school and when evaluating the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school, inspectors must consider prejudice-based bullying related to special educational need.