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Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of schools in identifying dyslexia. (163006)

All local authorities, schools, and early years settings must have regard to the special educational needs code of practice which provides advice on carrying out statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for pupils’ special educational needs. Children with dyslexia should therefore have their needs identified and support put in place to meet those needs in the same way as children with any other type of special educational need (SEN).

To help those working in schools to develop confidence in identifying and supporting children with dyslexia, we announced on 17 October the launch of the Inclusion Development Programme, which will offer professional development in key areas of SEN starting with training on communication difficulties, including dyslexia. The Inclusion Development Programme materials are being developed in close consultation with dyslexia organisations.

To identify and disseminate best practice in improving outcomes for children with dyslexia, we are working with the British Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Action, Xtraordinary People and the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties on the No to Failure Project. This project is supporting schools in three local authority areas to become project trailblazers, where children are being screened for dyslexia and individual specialist tuition is then provided to those who are identified as having dyslexia. The impact of this approach on outcomes is being evaluated. The project is also evaluating the impact of providing specialist dyslexia training for teachers, developing examples of good practice which can be extended nationally, and raising awareness of dyslexia as a learning difficulty. We are providing up to £900,000 funding over three years to support this project.