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Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make it his policy to require all teachers to undertake training on teaching children with dyslexia as part of their teaching degree. (163748)

In order to be awarded qualified teacher status, all trainee teachers must demonstrate that they know how to make effective personalised provision for those they teach including pupils with special educational needs (SEN), and know how to differentiate their teaching accordingly. They are also required to demonstrate knowledge of current legislation and guidance on the safeguarding and promotion of the well-being of children and young people, including SEN and disability legislation and the SEN code of practice. The professional standards further require them to demonstrate understanding of the roles of colleagues with specific responsibility for groups of learners with SEN and other needs, and demonstrate ability to communicate effectively with children, young people, colleagues, parents and carers.

As part of a wider programme to strengthen understanding of SEN and disability issues within initial teacher training, the Training and Development Agency for Schools has been developing and piloting specialist SEN and disability units for primary undergraduate courses and for newly qualified teachers during their induction. These include specific units on dyslexia. The units have been received well by both staff and students and it is planned to organise a national roll out to all training providers in the coming year. Work is under way to develop similar materials for secondary undergraduate courses and the PGCE.

On 17 October, we launched the Inclusion Development Programme, a programme of confidence-raising professional development for serving teachers and other staff. The opening round focuses on training in relation to children's communication difficulties including dyslexia.