Fish in the Tree Report and Drive For Literacy
Why we are failing children with dyslexia
- Download the full Fish in the Tree report here
- Facts sheet – click for useful facts and figures about dyslexia
The Driver Youth Trust commissioned this report to understand the extent to which teacher trainees received training on special educational needs and disability, particularly dyslexia. The study found that while teachers overwhelmingly thought it important they received training to help teach children with dyslexia, over half revealed they had received no specific training at all. For nine out of ten teachers surveyed, initial training on dyslexia amounted to less than half a day.
Yet giving teachers the skills to help those with dyslexia would benefit all children. Teachers could be given a clearer understanding of the process of learning to read and write, and the techniques to support learning right across the classroom. This report sets out a series of measures which would help tackle the gaps in training and provision. They include providing training for all teachers on special educational needs including dyslexia and ensuring that local authorities identify and support children with the disability from the earliest possible opportunity.
Putting them in place would have not just a life-long impact on individual lives, but also on the strength of our economy and society. When three children in every classroom have dyslexia, we cannot afford to wait any longer for action.
- Teachers got even less training in how to identify and support children who are dyslexic:
- Despite this, 8 out of 10 providers (84%) were satisfied with their training on literacy.
- Almost a quarter (23%) did not specifically assess their trainees’ ability to teach children who struggle with literacy.
- More than a third of teacher training providers (35%) spent less than a day of their courses training teachers how to support children who struggle with literacy.
- Teachers are not currently getting the training they need to support children who struggle to read and write:
- 7 out of 10 providers (69%) spent less than a day training students how to support children with dyslexia.
- Nearly a third of providers spent less than half a day teaching teachers about dyslexia.
- Only 18% of providers offered an optional extra module, placement or project on dyslexia or on special educational needs (including dyslexia).
- Despite this 7 out of 10 (65%) were satisfied with their training on dyslexia.
- Provide mandatory training for all classroom teachers on special educational needs, including dyslexia.
- Develop guidance and new training resources on teaching children who struggle to read and write and those with dyslexia, to accompany the new Teacher Standards.
- Ofsted to investigate how schools support children who struggle to read and write, and whether teachers are getting the right training.
- The new laws on special educational needs should make sure schools identify and support children with dyslexia, with proper assessment and well trained specialist teachers.
- The Government should develop a dyslexia and literacy strategy to ensure that children who struggle to read and write get the right support. This should recommend a dyslexia specialist teacher for every school.