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Children: Reading

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate his Department has made of the number of children in schools with dyslexia-type reading difficulties in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. (195536)

The available information has been placed in the Library.

Information was collected from schools on pupils who are supported at “School Action Plus” and those pupils with statements of special educational needs (SEN) about their main or primary need and, if appropriate, their secondary need for the first time in 2004.

Information on the number of pupils with dyslexia alone is not collected centrally. Figures relating to pupils with specific learning difficulties have been provided. Pupils with specific learning difficulties have a particular difficulty in learning to read, write, spell or manipulate numbers and this includes pupils with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

Tables showing the number of pupils by type of SEN in each local authority area have been placed in the Library. This information has not been analysed lower than local authority level because there are a number of sensitivities about categorising pupils by their type of SEN. It is important that anyone using the data should be aware of the concerns and also understand the limitations of the data's reliability and validity. There are a range of factors which may affect the data recorded, including:

Local interpretation of definitions

Classification of children with multiple needs

Statistics are based on school and local authority identification of need rather than a diagnosis by medical of psychological staff

Availability of special school provision in authorities.