Recent research by a Youth Trust shows that despite a government pledge to spend £10 million to train specialist teachers, 75% of headteachers report not having access to one.
According to the research, Kirklees local authority’s own local offer, which is meant to give parents and young people information about what support is available to them, includes no explicit mention of dyslexia or what support is available through the local authority for pupils and their parents locally.
Driver Youth Trust, a charity dedicated to improving the life chances of children and young people who struggle with literacy, particularly dyslexia, recently published the ‘Hide and Seek’ report, which looks at the outcomes of the Rose Review.
The government-commissioned Rose Review (2009) recommended the training of 4,000 specialist teachers, one for each cluster of schools in England.
DYT’s research claims that 10 years on, the initiative has failed to provide the specialist skills needed to support those children who most struggle to read and write.
Findings in the report show that, in a time when children’s learning has been jeopardized by Covid-19 and national results in literacy point to an exponential growth in the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, schools urgently require the additional expertise these teachers can offer.
However, less than one in five are currently employed in state schools nationwide, and only 16% of teachers in the North East reporting having access to specialists.
The report posits that whilst there has been some progress to improve children’s literacy in the last decade, progress has not been rapid enough to meet the needs of children and progress the government’s levelling up agenda.
Chris Rossiter, CEO of Driver Youth Trust, said: “The impact on children with Special Educational Needs and Disability is particularly alarming.
“These children are those who were significantly lagging behind their peers before school closures and now face a double disadvantage to catch up.”
Driver Youth Trust’s full report ‘Hide and Seek – Where are all the Specialists‘ is available to read on their website.