Government promises £10 million for dyslexia training and support


The government has promised to train 4 000 new specialist teachers and provide £10 million in funding, following the publication of a review into how to improve the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia in England.
The year-long independent review, headed by Sir Jim Rose, was commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The children, schools and families secretary, Ed Balls, accepted all of the review’s recommendations.
The review called for “high quality interventions” by schools, and said “additional support” was “essential” for children who had persistent reading difficulties when transferring from primary to secondary school.
The review also called for better dyslexia training for both trainees and existing teachers. And it said the government should provide courses so at least one teacher in every school is trained to cope with dyslexia and literacy difficulties.
It also recommended government funding for teachers to undertake advanced training, so all schools have “substantially improved access” to a specialist dyslexia teacher.
Other recommendations included: “clear guidance” to be published, so parents of children with dyslexia know what to expect from schools; councils to explain how schools in their area can access the specialist dyslexia expertise they need; and continued government funding of the British Dyslexia Association’s (BDA) helpline for parents and teachers.
The DCSF said the £10 million would fund specialist teaching and support for schools and parents, including training 4,000 specialist teachers, one for every local group of schools.
Balls also announced that he had commissioned new online training for teachers on how to support children with literacy difficulties.
Balls said: “Sir Jim’s recommendations mean that every child’s reading needs will be monitored, those who need extra help will receive one to one support, and children with severe literacy difficulties will have the help of a specialist dyslexia teacher.”
Sir Jim said: “I am very pleased that all of the recommendations of the review have been accepted.
“I hope they will help policy makers and providers to strengthen practice, and assure parents that provision for children with dyslexia will be as good as we can make it.”
The BDA said it was pleased the government had accepted all of the report’s recommendations.
Judi Stewart, chief executive of the BDA, said the recommendations offered “a real foundation for change and progress” and would “improve the education of many children with dyslexia throughout the country”.

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