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Special Educational Needs: Dyslexia

Education written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department has spent on (a) diagnosis of and (b) educational support for children with dyslexia in each of the last five years; what information his Department holds on the number of children diagnosed with dyslexia in each of the last five years; what steps he has taken to ensure the accuracy of diagnoses of dyslexia; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather The Minister of State, Department for Education

holding answer 19 July 2011

Data are not collected centrally on spending on diagnosis and support for children with dyslexia or on the number of children with dyslexia. Data are collected on the number of children at School Action Plus under the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice or with statements of special educational needs with specific learning difficulty, which includes dyslexia. In January 2011 there were 78,135 such pupils; 11.1% of the total number of children at School Action Plus and with statements.

Schools and local authorities have statutory duties in respect of identifying and supporting children with special educational needs from within the funds available to them.

The Department is taking a range of specific measures to improve the identification of and support for children with dyslexia. These include:

making support available to every school for the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics—revising and strengthening the core criteria that define the key features of an effective systematic synthetic phonics programme to help schools in selecting an effective programme and making £3,000 of match funding available to all schools with Key Stage One pupils for phonics materials and training; introducing a new phonics screening check for children in Year One; working with initial teacher training providers to ensure that all trainee primary teachers have the understanding and confidence to teach children to read using systematic synthetic phonics; funding teachers to take specialist dyslexia training courses approved by the British Dyslexia Association (some 3,200 teachers in the period 2009-11); developing through the Training and Development Agency for Schools specialist resources for initial teacher training programmes including units on dyslexia to give trainees a grounding in recognising dyslexia and supporting pupils with dyslexia; developing through the Training and Development Agency for Schools new advanced level online modules in dyslexia which will build on earlier programmes and further enhance teachers' knowledge, understanding and skills; and, providing grant funding to the Dyslexia-Specific Learning Difficulty Trust in 2011-12 to raise awareness and support parents and schools.

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