- To improve teaching, learning and outcomes for children with literacy and dyslexic
Strengthening teaching and learning
The DCSF should fund a number of teachers to undertake appropriately accredited specialist
training in teaching children with dyslexia, in order to provide substantially improved
access to specialist expertise in all schools and across all local authority areas.
Local authorities should consider with schools how they might form groups which could
share the resource of a specialist dyslexia teacher.
The DCSF should commission short courses for teachers on selecting and teaching literacy
intervention programmes. These courses should:
- cover the definition and characteristics of dyslexia in keeping with this review
and the ‘Simple View of Reading’;
- equip participants with the expertise to select, implement, monitor and evaluate
- ensure those trained are able to make best use of the published guidance on ‘What
Works for children with literacy difficulties?’, and be able to advise other teachers
and support staff on delivering high quality interventions;
- link on-line training materials eg the refreshed IDP and the literacy interventions
The National Strategies should refresh the dyslexia IDP materials in the light of
this review. The materials should continue to be promoted for serving and trainee
teachers, and other members of
the workforce involved with teaching literacy, such as teaching assistants.
The DCSF should ask the BDA to review their accreditation criteria for training courses
for specialist dyslexia teachers so that courses cover good practice in Wave 1 teaching
of reading and writing, and how a child’s literacy would normally develop if s/he
is not experiencing difficulties.
The DCSF should ask the Training Development Agency for Schools
and the initial teacher training sector to build on initiatives for strengthening
coverage of special educational needs and disability (including dyslexia) in initial
teacher training courses and through continuing professional development. For example,
by capitalising on the Leading Literacy Schools programme so it includes opportunities
for trainee teachers to work with experienced teachers who are successfully tackling
children’s literacy difficulties.
Local authorities should set out how schools can secure access to sufficient expertise
to meet the needs of children with literacy and dyslexic difficulties.
Assessing children’s progress and identifying children’s difficulties
The first step in identifying that children may have dyslexia is to notice those
making poor progress in comparison with their typically developing peers, despite
high quality Wave 1 teaching.
Therefore, Local Authorities and the National Strategies should work with schools
to make sure that they have in place good monitoring arrangements to ascertain that
Wave 1 teaching is of a
high quality, especially in teaching word recognition and language comprehension
skills in keeping with the ‘simple view of reading’.
When the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework is reviewed in 2010, consideration
should be given to how language development can be carefully monitored so that where
children have emerging difficulties with aspects of language and literacy that may
be obstacles to their progress, practitioners can take steps to overcome them and
tailor provision more carefully to individual language needs.
The DCSF should ask the QCA to ensure that Assessment for Learning (AfL) and Assessing
Pupils’ Progress (APP) secure continuity of assessment practice with that of the
EYFSP, and thus assist with identifying literacy difficulties, which is a first step
towards identifying dyslexia.
Further strengthening intervention programmes
The DCSF should work with partners to develop the following additions to the delivery
of Every Child a Reader and other interventions:
- Effective Wave 2 provision that is systematic in its approach to phonic work;
- pre- and post-intervention phonemic awareness assessment that picks up the word level
skills children should master (based on a thorough review of published assessment
- guidance on how class teachers, and the intervention teacher, should share information
so that children’s progress through
the phonic phases (as in Letters and Sounds25) can be tracked, and interventions
and in-class support planned as complementary responses.
The dyslexia pilots proposed in the Children’s Plan should not go ahead.
Guidance for parents and others
The DCSF should commission clear guidance for parents and
schools on the policy and purpose of interventions. This should include explaining
how effective interventions, for all school age groups, are to be made available
for children with literacy and dyslexic difficulties, and how children’s progress
will be monitored. The content and implementation of this guidance should be independently
The guidance should be placed on an interactive website covering
literacy and dyslexic difficulties, on which there should also be:
- regular updates on successful ways of helping children to overcome literacy and dyslexic
- links to the Inclusion Development Programme (IDP) materials, and to the short course
materials which feature in the third recommendation.
A copy of this review and key background papers that contributed to it.
A copy of ‘What Works for children with literacy difficulties?’ (G. Brooks’s 2007)
guidance, which should be regularly updated.
25 http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/search/ earlyyears/results/nav:46163
Recommendation 14 All schools should:
- keep parents informed of the plans for, and progress of, children with literacy or
- publish the procedures they follow to identify and support children with such difficulties.
The DCSF should continue to promote its SEN information booklet for parents, so they
are better placed to understand and question provision being made for their children.
This should refer directly to provision for reading difficulties, including dyslexia.
The DCSF should continue to fund a helpline that provides advice to parents and people
working in schools on dyslexia and literacy difficulties.
Assuring the quality of provision
Headteachers and governors should audit school provision to make sure that it complies
with ‘The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice’26 and the statutory duty on
community, voluntary and foundation schools to use their best endeavours to ensure
that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs27.
By definition, this will include identifying and making necessary provision for children
26 Published by the Department of Children Schools and Families (previously the Department
for Education and Skills): http:// inclusion.ngfl.gov.uk or http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/
27 Education Act 1996 section 317.
With the help of local authorities and the National Strategies, all primary and secondary
schools should evaluate their intervention programmes, and make sure that where the
expertise required for these programmes needs to be strengthened, steps are taken
to do so.
The DCSF should consider asking Ofsted to undertake a survey to evaluate the extent
to which, and with what impact, primary and secondary schools are using interventions
to advance the progress of children and young people experiencing a wide range of
difficulties. This should be timed to provide an opportunity to evaluate the implementation
of this review’s recommendations.