THE BLOG

Addressing the Lack of Dyslexia Support in UK Schools

25/04/2014 12:02 BST | Updated 24/06/2014 10:59 BST

It is believed that roughly 10% of the population is affected by dyslexia, which equates to about three students per classroom. Support is not necessarily readily available when dyslexia is detected. Once dyslexia is diagnosed one can begin to seek out the available options, however, this may not prove to be as straight forward as intended. Given this, it should be a priority to streamline an effective support mechanism for dyslexia.

If left undetected dyslexia can cause difficulties with learning, and in extreme cases children are often labeled as 'stupid' or 'lazy'. This can lead to further problems of feelings of isolation and low self-esteem. The consequences of such neglect would be hugely damaging to students with dyslexia.

Although a great deal has been done to address the issue, there is still a long way to go. The lack of specialist educational support received by dyslexic children in the UK is having an effect not only on the children and their families, but on society as a whole. The ability to understand how to manage learning difficulties and effectively absorb information is an essential life skill that is necessary to succeed in education, and later life. Thus, in order to fully serve those students with high quality support we require teachers and experienced tutors to be equipped with the necessarily stills and knowledge to implement crucial interventions.

Of course, providing teachers with that vital training requires money and resources. Xtraordinary People, a dyslexia charity, estimates that it would cost £40m to provide one teacher in every school in England with that training. By denying dyslexic children the specialist help they need they will be wasting their potential and this has costly knock-on effects.

Those individuals with dyslexia undiagnosed can walk through their entire life lacking the self-confidence and knowledge needed to realise their full potential. It has been reported that as many as four out of ten people that are out of work are dyslexic, demonstrating that the problem goes further than the individual and has an affect on the whole economy.

The Driver Youth Trust commissioned a report to find out why children with dyslexia were still being failed by their schools. This came from the fact that nine out of ten parents with dyslexic children had complained that their children lacked vital support from their teachers. Although the majority of teachers do think it is important to receive the relevant training, over half are yet to receive it. And of those who had attended the initial training session, 90% only received half a days worth of training. The trust also came up with a plan that would help to address this problem. They suggested that all classroom teachers be given mandatory training on dyslexia. Guidance and training resources should then be developed to help teach these children. It is also recommended that every school should have a dyslexia specialist teacher.

A Dyslexia Action report found that effective learning depended on certain factors. Schools should generally promote good communication between parents, pupils and teachers. Teachers should understand that certain difficulties can have an impact on learning and classroom practice should be adapted to reflect this. Resulting in individuals with dyslexia having the opportunity to learn along side their peers, in an environment that is conducive to learning all around.

By implementing the necessary measures as outlined in this article, each educational institution can play an active role in helping to provide dyslexic students with the vital support and care needed to succeed in later life. Further to this, parents and teachers will be in a better position to aid and encourage dyslexic students. Through adopting a common aim of detecting dyslexia as early as possible, we can provide students with a stable platform enabling them to realise their full potential. With this, we can conclude that such changes with inevitably have a huge bearing on our society.

As previously mentioned, identifying dyslexia early on is key. Dyslexia assessments are a great place to start. At Tutor House we work alongside a number of educational psychologists in London and the surrounding areas to help diagnose dyslexia and there after offer high quality support to students, teachers, and parents.