One in every ten children is dyslexic and many more struggle with reading and writing. Early intervention and a structured multi-sensory teaching programme can make all the difference. As a qualified teacher and member of the British Dyslexia Association, I have taught countless children to read and will help your child to become a confident and competent reader as well as helping them find ways to improve their writing and spelling.

Contact me today to find out how I can help you and your child.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Schools are failing 80% of dyslexic pupils. Is your child one of them?

At least 8 out of 10 dyslexic pupils aren't being diagnosed or supported by schools. That was the worrying news that I woke up to today. The news is based on a report  published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences. The report looked at pupils in England, but I fear a report here in Wales might well reveal similar sobering statistics.

Over the last few years, I have done a number of dyslexia screenings. Many of the parents who come to me have been concerned about their children's progress for some time. In some cases for a number of years. Reasons put forward from the schools as to why these children haven't been screened vary from 'they're not old enough yet' to 'they're not under-performing enough' to, most worryingly, 'we don't have any dyslexia in our school'. 

The situation surrounding dyslexia and schools is frustrating, upsetting and perplexing. It is frustrating for parents who know there is a problem and have to stand back and watch their child fail, upsetting for pupils for whom school is a daily struggle and perplexing because schools and local authorities have a legal duty to try to identify, help and assess children suspected of having dyslexia.

I know that in Wales, there are budget cuts that prevent schools from being able to provide the support that they would like to. At least 10% of all pupils are dyslexic - with an average primary school having around 260 pupils -  that equates to a whole class worth of dyslexic pupils. 

The other issue is a lack of awareness amongst school staff. Even newly qualified teachers still don't learn much about dyslexia when training to teach. Many older teachers will have had no training at all. 

This combination of a lack of money and expertise means that, despite the very best of intentions, many schools continue to fail their dyslexic pupils. 

Another worrying finding in the report, which reflects my experience, is that even though schools are legally obliged to carry out an assessment (if they strongly suspect dyslexia), they frequently don't and those parents that can afford to are having to pay for a private assessment. 

More worrying still is that, even with an assessment, the report found that many schools are failing to provide adequate support and those parents who can afford to are employing tutors, like me, to support their children.

Of course, I see a lot of positives; many of the children that I have screened have taken the report back to school and received additional support. Many have also come to me for lessons which have helped them to reach their potential.

But this doesn't help parents who can't afford extra tuition or private screenings. I keep my prices as low as I can - but I can't reach everyone. That's why I have started doing dyslexia drop in sessions, so that I can at least offer some advice to parents on how best to support their children and advise them on their rights and the school's legal obligations.

If your child is struggling then contact me today to get them the help and support they need to succeed.

Want to find out more? Here's a link to the BBC article: