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Dyslexia training to be mandatory in Initial Teacher Training

(120 Posts)
5beasts Wed 03-Oct-12 21:19:25

Big ask - this petition needs 100,000 in order for this issue to get Parliamentary time. Believe it or not, student teachers currently are not taught about dyslexia, a condition that affects 1 in 10 people. More signatures urgently needed. Please could you sign this, then pass it on to your friends. There is less than a month left to get 85,000 signatures!

BackforGood Wed 03-Oct-12 21:31:17

Why just dyslexia ?
The whole area of special needs needs a drastic overhaul in Initial Teacher Training. There is a massive amount of learning that is just not covered.

Meglet Wed 03-Oct-12 21:38:27

If some training can be improved then hopefully they will start to cover more areas of SEN.

It never occured to me that they don't give student teachers training in SN and dyslexia sad. <<signed>>

adeucalione Wed 03-Oct-12 22:17:27

My DN is training to be a teacher and has a weekly session called Inclusion that covers many areas of SEN including dyslexia (so 2hrs pw x 3 years) - she also has to spend some time working in a special school, working with EAL children and working with travellers. It sounds thorough o me.

noblegiraffe Wed 03-Oct-12 22:46:53

My PGCE also had SEN training. It wasn't great, but it wasn't non-existent. Are you sure you have your facts straight? I.e. that it's not covered on any teacher training course and needs a discussion in parliament to change things?

BackforGood Wed 03-Oct-12 22:58:41

As a SENCo, I had to be 'sought out' by the 2nd year (B.Ed) students as part of their placements, year after year, so they could ask me about all sorts of things. Every year I found the students knowledge to be woefully lacking, and they were really desparate for knowledge and support.

I know a couple of people who have trained in the past few years (PGCEs) at different colleges, and they reported the same.

EBDTeacher Thu 04-Oct-12 07:04:49

Agree with BackforGood.

There needs to be training in neurocognitive functioning and development and it's application to behaviour and learning in general. Not just in one narrow outdated description of a specific weakness.

5beasts Thu 04-Oct-12 13:53:37

Sorry, I should have said that there is no legal requirement to train student teachers about dyslexia. Of course, some will get the information that they need as part of their courses. However, many will not (I didn't get any as part of my PGCE).

It seems that no one at my son's school knows anything about dyslexia. The SENCo thought that the DST test couldn't be given until the child was 7 (the age is 6 and 6 months), and then administered a version of the test that had become obsolete in 2004, in which there were about 5 mistakes (both in the scoring and in the administration of the test) giving him a score that was not accurate. He has found school very hard, and has been viewed as naughty and disruptive, because he cannot write, despite the fact that we have a family history of dyslexia, and a letter from both the pediatrician and the the ed Psychologist raising the possibility of dyslexia.

I am glad that some student teachers are getting the training that they need to help and recognise dyslexia in the classroom (after all, dyslexia friendly teaching will help EVERY child in the classroom, not just dyslexics). But we need to make sure that the legal framework is in place to help every student teacher to have the framework in place to help every child. Sure there are other neurological conditions that need addressing too. However, this petition has been set up by the British Dyslexia Association, and obviously, they will campaign for what they know about. Please do read about what they are campaigning for on the petition site, as they put it much better than I can.

5beasts Thu 04-Oct-12 13:56:08

here's the link again:

ReallyTired Thu 04-Oct-12 21:22:29

I did half a PGCE before I came to my senses and decided that I did not want to be a teacher. There was training on special needs, but it was woefully inadequate. I think a big issue is that you really need hands on practical experience in the classroom to engage in the issues.

Its not just dyslexia, but autism, MLD, deafness and emotional and behavioural problems, social problems, mental health issues covers learning. However I think some of these are better as continuing professional development rather than in a PGCE. A PGCE is very packed as is its.

Teachers need the facilty to update themselves through out their careers as ideas change all the time.

smee Fri 05-Oct-12 13:22:46

I've signed. My son's dyslexic and there are no trained staff in his school (large inner city primary). The only teacher who's on the ball is so because she's dyslexic herself. It's a hugely daft omission from training.

I do agree with all on need for specific training on other SEN, but this petition's already up and running and is specifically about dyslexia. Plea to all, PLEASE SIGN IT. I've been genuinely staggered by how little teachers know about it.

MordionAgenos Fri 05-Oct-12 13:38:37

Most teachers know about dyslexia. I've never met one who didn't(DS is dyslexic). Most teachers have never HEARD of dyspraxia (DD1 a d DD2 are dyspraxic. as am I) and quite a few of them do not believe it actually exists and is an actual thing

smee Fri 05-Oct-12 13:44:17

yes all Teachers will have heard of it, but it's about whether Teachers are specifically trained to be aware of Dyslexia and know how to both recognise it and help children who are affected.

Think you're right about Dyspraxia, that does seem to go under the radar a lot.

MordionAgenos Fri 05-Oct-12 13:46:23

@smee It does. And speaking as a parent of DCs with both conditions - Dyspraxia is a much much much worse thing to have. sad It causes far more issues in primary school, it's even worse in secondary school and it continues to be a geniuine handicap all the way through life.

smee Fri 05-Oct-12 20:52:33

sad Mordion. Seems so ridiculous it's not recognised. Makes no sense to me.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 05-Oct-12 21:07:24


"Most teachers have never HEARD of dyspraxia"

Are you sure of this "FACT"

MordionAgenos Sat 06-Oct-12 01:31:41

@boney I only have empirical evidence. But that, sadly, is overwhelming. It's also the advice we got from the experts when DD1 was first diagnosed. I note you haven't asked the OP to back up her FACT that teachers are not taught about dyslexia (which is not a fact, since they are). As a parent of children with both conditions it's quite clear to me which is the better understood, acknowledged, and catered for one. It's not dyspraxia. sad

5beasts Sat 06-Oct-12 09:30:59

Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia are all related, and often co-morbid conditions. The British Dyslexia Association touches on all of them. Hopefully, if this gets parliamentary time, then it will open the door for a discussion on catering for ALL learning differences. Please share the petition link on Facebook, Twitter etc to raise awareness :-)

EBDTeacher Sat 06-Oct-12 10:03:10

yy 5beasts and to be honest I'm not sure all the seperate labels will stand the test of time.

Many different condidtions are seeming more and more likely to be sets of symptoms caused by executive dysfunction and I would include ADHD and autism in that.

I think it's important that teachers get a grounding in neurology as it relates to learning and behaviour so that they can keep up with the research in this field as it progresses. How many teachers could tell you much about how attention develops and impacts on learning? Or about the interplay between attention, cognitive inhibition and working memory? I think information about the building blocks would be more useful than learning descriptions of symptoms.

It is time teachers became more scientific in their understanding of learning.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 06-Oct-12 10:59:44


The OP is asking people to sign a petition.

If you had said that teachers did not understand dispraxia, dyslexia etc. I would have agreed but you stated that teachers heve never heard of it and went on to say that "quite a few of them do not believe it actually exists and is an actual thing "quite a few of them do not believe it actually exists and is an actual thing"

You seem to have no evidence for this.

MordionAgenos Sat 06-Oct-12 12:24:28

I do have evidence for this, I have seen it numerous times. It's only empirical evidence but it is rather better evidence than supporting the initially presented claim that teachers aren't taught about dyslexia.

EBDTeacher Sat 06-Oct-12 18:35:58

You mean anecdotal evidence Mordion. Your story of your experience with a few teachers.

Empirical suggests you have actually made some attempt to obtain data from a controlled sample from which you can draw a conclusion. You haven't done that I think?

Tinuviel Sat 06-Oct-12 22:53:03

I don't think any of the teachers at the school I work at could say that they haven't heard of any of these conditions - we deal with them on a daily basis. However, at no point in my BEd nor in my teaching career have I ever received or had access to any SEN training. I have been teaching for 18 years.

On my BEd I had to do a 6 week (1/2 day per week) SEN placement at a school, where I shadowed one pupil. It taught me nothing of any value because she had a specific and quite rare condition but not something I would be likely to/ever have come across again.

I wouldn't like to limit training to dyslexia though.

jabed Sun 07-Oct-12 08:55:15

I think these conditions require specialist teachers, not generalists so that we all have to deal with it. Sorry to have to say it. If this were medicine would you be happy for your GP to be doing your heart operation on the basis of some basic training in his medical degree?

EBDTeacher Sun 07-Oct-12 09:20:47

jabed you can't possibly think every kid with a specific learning difficulty, or even with more pervasive difficulties, is going to recieve full time special education??

That would neither be logistically or financially possible or, in many cases, right for the child.

Are you in Gove's camp of only wanting to educate the model child?

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