- Assessments of children referred to us by mainstream schools,
- Written reports and recommendations for schools and parents/carers,
- Structured programmes of work to support children,
- Advice and resources to help schools deliver support programmes,
- Teaching of some children with significant specific literacy difficulties,
- Training for whole schools, groups within schools, individual staff members and other agencies,
- Advice and consultation for teachers and teaching assistants working in special schools and Additionally
- Resourced Provisions (ARPs).
Dyslexia is a term which is used to describe persistent problems with phonics, reading, accuracy and spelling resulting from specific underlying difficulties.
The Department for Education has adopted a definition of Dyslexia from the 2009 government funded Rose Report. This definition and key statement from the Rose Report were endorsed by an international group of experts in the field of dyslexia/reading disability in Durham in September 2015.
- The team does not provide a formal diagnosis of dyslexia as the team's role is to identify pupils' specific difficulties and devise programmes to address these.
- The team provides advice about ways to address difficulties with sound awareness, phonics, reading and spelling, including strategies for supporting children and young people in class.
Schools send referrals to the Dyslexia Team. Written parental permission is required before children can be referred.
The Dyslexia Team’s referral system reflects the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice for schools: children’s needs are identified by schools, additional support is put into place and evaluated. Following this, a referral to the team may be the next step if a child is not making the expected level of progress. This approach helps to identify children with more severe needs who may require specialist help.
If the referral indicates that a child may have significant specific difficulties with literacy or numeracy, a specialist teacher from the team will contact school to arrange an assessment. If the referral indicates that the child's needs are less severe, informal advice and resources will be offered by the team to provide support.
The team’s specialist assessments begin at the age of 6 years 6 months. Assessments for specific numeracy difficulties begin at the age of 7 years.
Meeting with parents and supporting schools
If the child has an initial assessment from the team, parents/carers will be invited by the school to a meeting to discuss the specialist teacher's findings. We will provide a report and recommendations for a teaching intervention programme to help the child/young person. Some recommendations can be supported through activities at home.
Our assessment results show that individualised programmes which are delivered regularly each week are effective in addressing children’s specific literacy difficulties. This approach aims to support schools in their efforts to address children’s needs.
For some children who have significant difficulties with literacy skills, we return to review their progress after 6 months and provide updated recommendations. After this, we are available to provide further advice on request from schools.