Free online training to help plug dyslexic teaching shortfall

With 80% of dyslexics leaving UK schools undiagnosed, a new campaign is offering educators three free training courses

A new report from the Made By Dyslexia charity finds that only one in 10 teachers have a good understanding of dyslexic issues.

The results of The School Report are drawn from a survey of more than 12,000 teachers and parents in a range of educational settings across 102 countries.

It finds that dyslexic challenges are not understood in more than half of schools across the globe. Indeed, 80% of dyslexics leave UK schools undiagnosed, according to a 2019 report from the all-party parliamentary group on the issue.

Other statistics underlining the seriousness of the issue in the UK include:

  • More than half of inmates in the UK prison system are dyslexic
  • 65% of children screened at a London pupil referral unit were dyslexic
  • Children with special educational needs like dyslexia are seven times more likely to be excluded from school

As a result, Made By Dyslexia – founded and led by dyslexics – is launching a ‘Learn Dyslexia’ campaign, with schools asked to allow teachers to #takeadayfordyslexia and use it to conduct free online training in partnership with Microsoft.

The collaboration offers three free training courses – on awareness, teaching, and dyslexia and technology – with more coming onstream next year.

The campaign film

“Understanding and knowing how to spot, support and champion dyslexic thinkers at all ages is vital,” said Paige Johnson, VP educational marketing at Microsoft.

“By offering accessible, free and informative training focusing on dyslexia in partnership with Made By Dyslexia, we hope to start to see a more inclusive world that embraces those who think differently.

“We are excited to launch the new training module focused on dyslexia and technology, to help people understand the free tools available to support and develop the skills of dyslexic thinkers”.

From the archive: In 2018 we reported on how Microsoft became the first company in the world to sign Made By Dyslexia’s pledge to help dyslexic students

Johnson’s words were echoed by Kate Griggs, CEO and founder of Made By Dyslexia.

“We’ve known how to support dyslexia for decades, and we’ve known that without support these children enter a spiral of failure, but nothing has been done,” she said.

“There is, however, a very simple solution to this big problem; we need to train all teachers to spot, support, and empower dyslexic students, who are in every classroom around the world. And we need to do it at speed.”

The charity also emphasises that dyslexic thinking can be an advantage in its own right, with entrants to the apprenticeship scheme at GCHQ – the UK’s intelligence centre – four times more likely to be dyslexic than other organisations’ programmes.

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