In recent discussions with various groups of adults and dyslexia professionals across the country, there appears to be a worrying trend of how some Local Authorities managing the expectations of parents who are looking for support for their children's dyslexia. In most cases, Local Authorities are accurately advising parents on what needs to be done, but in some cases, we are seeing Local Authorities providing misleading information about dyslexia almost to the point of 'downgrading' it from that of a neurological language disorder to dyslexia being just a 'literacy difficulty'.
In July, I wrote an article about Staffordshire County Council called "
" and in that article I revealed how Staffordshire CC likened dyslexia to being a literacy problem with no mention of many of the aspects of dyslexia that really provide a barrier to education. They even went as far as saying the following:
"There is no universally agreed definition or assessment pathway for dyslexia so any diagnosis is dependent on the interpretation made by the professional completing the assessment."
Staffordshire County Council
It is my belief that Warwickshire County Council used the same document in their communication with parents.
So the good news is that Warwickshire County Council has withdrawn their misleading document after pressure
received from the British Dyslexia Association and have entered into a new phase of consultation.
This is great news, but we still have other councils who are still misleading their parents.
We have to understand, that, funding for education is at an all time low and that Local Authorities and Schools are under the highest levels of pressure to deliver the curriculum with ever decreasing resources. Despite this, they are also duty bound to provide support for dyslexia but they are not getting extra resources to support this.
This, however, does not excuse the delivery of poor advice to parents who are desperate for information and resources that will help their dyslexic children through the education system.
Going back to my comments about Staffordshire CC, I recently saw a website from a Staffordshire School that had a logo on it saying 'Dyslexia Friendly' but it does not relate to an independent award of a 'Dyslexia Friendly' status which is misleading.
Is this school (and others in Staffordshire) self-awarding a dyslexia friendly status?
In doing further digging on this subject,
. This is welcome news and I hope that we do indeed see further work in this area taking place but if this is the case, then why are they not displaying the BDA Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark rather than opting for a mark that is not recognised or is perhaps self-awarded.
For whatever reason, I am disappointed by the ambiguous message that Staffordshire County Council is sending out to parents who are often confused about what dyslexia is, how it affects their children and how to get support.
The British Dyslexia Association provides
who want to be dyslexia friendly and work to an accepted national standard.
This blog article is sponsored by SprintPlus. Text to speech software that helps with reading and writing in schools.