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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!

Arisbottle Thu 13-Dec-12 20:06:38

I feel that I am given plenty of autonomy in the classroom and am treated as a professional. I do teach children according to their own needs.

PlaySchool Mon 10-Dec-12 19:53:15

Ronaldo I know it is a digression from the OP but I did part of a PGCE recently and gave it up for the very reason that I realised that teachers are not treated like professionals at all. Having been in another professional career, I would never be able to adapt to a job where I was made to follow instructions to the letter and given no autonomy. I think teachers are treated by both the government and each other with no respect.

aroomofherown Mon 10-Dec-12 19:47:14

I went to a SEN conference recently and the story there was that even the UK government doesn't really have a choice in their policies re inclusion etc as they are just an arm of what is happening globally.

Another interesting fact was that whilst the UK has about 20% of their students on the SEN register, most of Europe only has about 3% - the equivalent of our % of kids with statements.

Education around the world is starting to look the same everywhere.

Ronaldo Mon 10-Dec-12 19:26:09

Ronald's,do you think teachers are treated as professionals by the government and SMT or do you think they are programmed to simply follow instructions?

The government stopped treating teachers as "professionals" more than 30 years ago. If in fact they ever did treat teachers as professional at all. There has always been a debate about exacly how "pofessional" teaching was. It was more a technicians role than considered a profession.

SMT ( following govt orders since 1985 or thereabouts) have no trust at all in teachers professionalism. If there were any so called trust you wouldng have ofsted, constant observations and the National Curriculum amongst other things. Teachers would be in charge of their own classrooms. Teachers would be allowed to teach DC according to their actual needs and abilities rather than target chasing and tick listing.

I say that. Working in an independent it remains fairly autonomous and professional as it is possible for teaching under the current educational climate I think

PlaySchool Mon 10-Dec-12 18:47:18

I mean "Ronaldo". Silly spellcheck.

PlaySchool Mon 10-Dec-12 18:46:44

Ronald's,do you think teachers are treated as professionals by the government and SMT or do you think they are programmed to simply follow instructions?

Ronaldo Mon 10-Dec-12 17:54:40

IMVHO any disruption , no matter how "minimal" (and how do you measure that exactly) is a disruption too many.

Ronaldo Mon 10-Dec-12 17:53:40

Inclusion does not work because teachers and schools side with the LA in their lies, denials and delay tactics insead of the parents who have their children as their only agenda and a fairly good understanding as to how they could learn in the classroom with minumal disruptions

The truth of it is that those of us at the chalk face side with no one. We have avsolutely no control over what happens. I dont know where you get the idea we do.

Of course as a parent you have your child as your agenda. As a parent of an "NT" child I have my childs interests as my agenda but as a teacher I have to have the needs of between 20 and 30 DC as my agenda - not just yours or mine

StarOfLightMcKings3 Mon 10-Dec-12 16:06:04

Inclusion does not work because teachers and schools side with the LA in their lies, denials and delay tactics insead of the parents who have their children as their only agenda and a fairly good understanding as to how they could learn in the classroom with minumal disruptions.

Ronaldo Mon 10-Dec-12 15:47:29

Ah, a voice ofreason goofygoober79. Unfortunately where SN areconcerned reason is left at the door.

O agreewith all you say. However, I did getmore than an hour of SN on my course. But that isnt the point. The point is everyone should be entitled toan education that suits them. That is clearly very different for SN and "NT" DC ( heck I resent the lable NT being given to my DC or to myself just because someone wants a bloody label!)

Inclusion does not work and as you said, many teachers are privately against it. Of course, we are back to that elephant in the room.

Goofygoober79 Mon 10-Dec-12 11:14:40

When I was in teacher training, we had a very short lecture on SEN. No discussion about different needs, mental, physical, behavioural - nope, just an hour on the fact that we will encounter children with SEN in our classes.

I am against 'inclusion'. Many teachers are, but we can't say it officially. Why should one or two children with extreme problems be in my class and ruin the education of the rest of the children? Some schools are better than others - some have the funding to give these children the one-to-one support that they need. Most don't, or pretend not to so that they have more money to spend on other things.

I sympathise with parents of SEN children. I feel that they are not getting the best for their children in our state schools. In special schools, children are looked after and taught according to their needs and abilities - in state schools the children are sidelined, 'looked after' by unqualified, unwilling staff (no blame on them, they didn't sign up for it by the most part) and generally not learning as much as they could.

The fact remains, though, that many classes I have taught have been made so much more difficult by the behaviour of one or two (sometimes more) children. Imagine trying to teach the rudimentaries of fractions to Year 3 children when one is screaming obsceneties and smashing things up in a corner. Don't laugh - this is a true example. Or when I'm teaching Year 6 about writing using flashbacks, and a SEN child is wailing the whole time, loudly. Even though by Y6 the kids are trained not to react, it's still distracting for all of us.

If my child had Special Educational Needs, I would want them to be in a place where they were cared for, looked after and taught what was appropriate to them. None of this happens in most 'mainstream' schools.

nooka Thu 06-Dec-12 15:46:47

My apologies. I thought you were endorsing rather than explaining. It just touched a sore point as that's pretty much what our primary school told us - oh ds will struggle for the next ten years, but never mind he'll fly at university!

picketywick Thu 06-Dec-12 11:55:55

PLAYSCHOOL In telling the experience of Gabby Logans husband I am sorry if
I overstated the extent to which things have improved.

As was pointed out there are failed members in all professions;and that includes teachers. I mean to say going back a long time I can remember teachers who were clearly in the wrong profession.

I have learned a lot from this thread about dyslexia and other problems.

Niceweather Thu 06-Dec-12 10:01:15

Nooka Also, there will be some dyslexics who learn strategies and use their creativity to compensate - hence the over representation amongst entrepreneurs. Some might even say that it was the experience of school that gave them the drive to succeed and prove themselves. Plus many may have special talents that rise the fore as they specialise at college. But yes, at the same time, others will fall into a cycle of failure.

Niceweather Thu 06-Dec-12 08:02:15

Nooka I totally agree with you. My comment was meant to be addressing the question about why kids don't get picked up until they reach college. There must be dyslexic children in the bottom sets of every school in the country who are underachieving and have been written off. If it's right to assume that almost all dyslexic kids are underachieving to some extent, then it may be only the very bright ones with milder dyslexia will find a way to even get to college. Dyslexics are over represented in entrepreneurship, creative professions and the prison population.

nooka Thu 06-Dec-12 06:02:14

Niceweather you are assuming that the dyslexic child who might have been achieving at an average rate but had great potential gets to college. My experience is that as children get older reading and writing get more and more important at school, and the dyslexic child is therefore likely to slip further back without help. Plus frustration levels increase, and they may either start thinking that they are not in fact bright, but stupid and stop trying, or they may respond by becoming more and more disruptive (or both). Also early intervention is much more effective than later intervention.

That's not to say that I don't understand the rationale for helping the children who are struggling the most, more that it makes far more sense (and is more cost effective) to intervene in early childhood than during further education. If there are aides or solutions then apply them as early as possible so that adults don't have to overcome the stigma or pain they have completely unnecessarily suffered growing up.

PlaySchool Wed 05-Dec-12 22:28:33

morethanpotatoprints Thanks. He was very traumatised by that particular teacher. She also made another dyslexic child (undiagnosed at the time) sit at a desk on her own at the front for most of the year. That child was very upset by her too.

However, both my son and the girl are doing really well now. They are in Yr 7. I was so proud of him the other day when he told me that he had been put in the top set in English! His spelling, handwriting and punctuation are still awful but he seems to get by through his understanding and good ideas.

There are people who are inadequate at their job in all professions.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 05-Dec-12 20:45:33

Good grief it gets worse, poor child.

Playschool, I hope he recovers or did recover well from this. How totally unacceptable in this day and age. I am really sad for him.
Please tell me he is doing well and getting support now

mrz Wed 05-Dec-12 20:19:07

morethanapotatoprint their solution was not to teach him for two years hmm

morethanpotatoprints Wed 05-Dec-12 18:45:38


I have just read your last post. How awful for him. That is emotional bullying.

I hope he is ok, I feel so much for children with sn or slds some truly suffer and it needn't be like this. Has he had many incidences like this or is it usually ok for him?

I think even if new policies and procedures and training were to happen, there would still be some teachers who acted unprofessionally.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 05-Dec-12 18:32:50

Pickety and Playschool.

I'm not sure how old you are but I am ancient. grin. The experience of Gabbys husband is mild compared to how I suffered and others during the time. I was physically and emotionally abused and bullied by teachers throughout school and it was allowed. You can't begin to imagine the sickness I felt every morning knowing it would be exactly the same as the day before. I don't think I will ever truly get over it although I have come to terms with it now.

PlaySchool Wed 05-Dec-12 14:28:51

Apparentland teachers had treated him as a boy by sending him into the corridor. Things have improved, surely, since then.

Not much. In Year 4 my dyslexic son had his book held up in front of the whole class as an example of messy work.

picketywick Wed 05-Dec-12 12:44:39

A bit of true gossip. Gabby Logans husband, a rugby international, had severe problems at school, which were not treated until he married Gabby.

She amusingly describes how she ended up sitting in a specialists waiting room with hubby and some 11 year olds.

Apparentland teachers had treated him as a boy by sending him into the corridor. Things have improved, surely, since then.

PlaySchool Wed 05-Dec-12 10:06:30

Niceweather You have an excellent point. All my kids have literacy difficulties and I had one tested and found that he is moderately to severely dyslexic. His teacher told me in Yr 4 before I had him tested that he would get no extra help because there were children in the class far worse than him. After I got the diagnosis the school had to pull their finger out and his grades went up significantly.
My point would be that all children should be encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability. Ignored dyslexia is likely to make them slide down.

Niceweather Wed 05-Dec-12 06:45:34

I think there are many reasons why nothing is done earlier but one might be that you find yourself on dodgy ground if you try and differentiate between children. One child with dyslexia might be underachieving by several years but might be within average range whereas another child might be working at the top end of their ability and also in the average range. My DS is chugging along in the average range yet underachieving drastically. There are loads of children who will be doing worse than he is. Why should he get any extra help? You have to be 2 years behind average to qualify for help. Someone with dyslexia could be 5 years behind their potential based on IQ but still in average range - a bit of a minefield for a teacher to negotiate so easier to ignore. By the time they get to college, it will be more obvious that they are actually, surprise surprise, quite bright and have difficulties that are not in line with their intelligence.

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