Special Educational Needs: Teachers

Education written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what training teachers receive to enable them to recognise (a) dyslexia and (b) autism in children; and if he will make a statement.

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

holding answer 28 June 2012

The Government are committed to improving the quality of training teachers receive to enable them to better identify all areas of special educational needs (SEN) including dyslexia and autism and overcome the barriers to learning that some children and young people face.

Teacher training supports trainees to meet the standards for qualified teacher status. From September 2012, the new teacher standards will have a sharpened focus on meeting the broad range of pupils' needs including those with special educational needs.

The Department has, between 2009 and 2011, funded up to 3200 teachers to undertake specialist dyslexia training courses approved by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA).

We have also funded the Autism Education Trust—some £1.3 million over two years—to develop national standards for those working with autistic children and also tiered training at universal, enhanced and specialist levels and to deliver the universal training to at least 5,000 staff, including teachers, across the country.

In addition, we have recently developed a range of advanced-level online training materials for teachers which include modules on both dyslexia and ASD. These are now available on the DFE website.

Our National Scholarship Fund provides opportunities for teachers to apply to undertake Masters-level qualifications in specific impairments including dyslexia and ASD.

Furthermore, we are committed to continuing to support the role of the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO) in schools. Since 2009 almost 9000 teachers have been funded to undertake the masters-level SENCO training. Funding for a further 1,000 SENCOs has been confirmed for 2012/13. The training is designed to support teachers to meet the needs of all pupils with SEN, including those with dyslexia and ASD.

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