Dyslexia training to be mandatory in Initial Teacher Training
Responsible department: Department for Education
The British Dyslexia Association proposes that Initial Teacher Training course providers should be required to deliver mandatory and consistent dyslexia awareness sessions. The mandatory minimum should be the existing Department of Education 2005 module; available to view at http://nso.archive.teachfind.com/node/175600
All teachers should be trained to understand dyslexia, its impact on learning and what constitutes dyslexia friendly practice. Teachers should be aware of when to signpost learners for assessment and when to provide appropriate intervention.
This e-petition has received the following response:
As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:
The Government agrees that teachers should be well prepared to meet the needs of all pupils.
However, the Government does not require Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers to deliver particular sessions within their programmes. Instead, the Secretary of State’s Initial Teacher Training Criteria specify that:
“All accredited ITT providers must ensure…that the content, structure, delivery and assessment of programmes are designed to enable trainee teachers to meet all the standards for QTS across the age range of training.”
The new Teachers’ Standards which came into effect from September 2012 state that:
“a teacher must….adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils,”
and in particular:
“have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs…..and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.”
We are mindful of the need for trainee teachers to have opportunities early in their training to learn more about special educational needs and that is why we are increasing the number of ITT placements in special schools or specialist settings within a mainstream school, from 1000 placements between 2009 and 2011 to up to 2000 from September 2012. The placements enable trainees to address the professional standards for qualified teachers (QTS) in relation to SEN/D.
The Department currently funds the Dyslexia-SpLD Trust to develop an online Continuous Professional Development framework for teachers, which includes a self-assessment and guide for further study. We are also continuing to work with the Dyslexia –SPLD trust to explore how we can make use of their expertise in further strengthening the recently published advanced materials on Dyslexia, Autism and Communication Needs.
Ofsted routinely inspects ITT provision. As part of this process, it monitors and evaluates how well individual training providers train teachers to meet the needs of all pupils with SEN and disabilities including those with dyslexia and specific learning difficulties. The quality of SEN provision within ITT has been identified as a priority as part of the new ITT inspection arrangements.
This emphasis on trainee teachers meeting the needs of all pupils is further backed up by Ofsted’s new framework for ITE inspections. The grade descriptors for the quality of training include a judgement on how training prepares trainees to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs.
It is therefore the responsibility of ITT providers to ensure that they design their programmes so that trainees achieve the outcomes a defined in the Teachers Standards. It would be inappropriate for the Government to mandate ITT providers to deliver any particular sessions.
This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.
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