by Paul Nisbet
on Fri Mar 10, 2017
On Wednesday March 8th, we were honoured to host the launch of the revised Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit, by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, and Sir Jackie Stewart, president of Dyslexia Scotland.
The event was chaired by Professor Charlie Jeffrey, Senior Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh and featured contributions from Fran Ranaldi of Education Scotland and two of Dyslexia Scotland's Young Ambassadors, who talked about what it means to them to be dyslexic.
Mr Swinney said:
It is vital that young people with dyslexia get the support they need so they can achieve their potential. I have met young people who show just how much can be achieved with the right identification and support. But we also know there is more to be done. That is why we are doubling the funding we provide to Dyslexia Scotland, to support their work in improving opportunties and supporting children and their families. To help children get the right start in life, teachers must be properly equipped to identify dyslexia early and provide the right support, which is why we have refreshed our Addressing Dyslexia toolkit, and created new online training tools.
Sir Jackie Stewart said:
I cannot emphasise how important it is for all teachers – and I mean all teachers - to use this free, comprehensive and informative Toolkit. For the sake of the 10–15 per cent of children and young people with dyslexia in Scotland, my hope is that teachers, schools and local authorities actively promote this invaluable guidance and the accompanying online training. My sincere thanks go to the expert working group that has made this possible.
My own experience at school scarred me for life due to the ignorance of my teacher – and we know that there are still too many young people not being identified and supported today. Therefore, I am delighted and very grateful that the Scottish Government has supported this initiative and that the Deputy First Minister has announced that the funding to Dyslexia Scotland will be doubled next year.
The new Addressing Dyslexia toolkit has been revised to make it more accessible and easier to use and provides information for teachers, schools and local authorities on inclusive practice, literacy difficulties and dyslexia. It guides users through a child-centred, collaborative process of identification, assessment, support and monitoring.
The Toolkit has been created by a working group of practitioners across Scotland, including Paul Nisbet, Director of CALL Scotland. The group is chaired by Fran Ranaldi, Development Officer - Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice at Education Scotland, hosted by Dyslexia Scotland, and funded by the Scottish Government - an excellent example of partnership working.