Anxious wait for dyslexia verdict

29th August 1997 at 01:00
Verdicts on two cases in which former pupils are suing their schools for thousands of pounds for failing to diagnose their dyslexia are awaited by schools and councils, writes Josephine Gardiner.

The High Court has reserved judgment until next month on the cases of Pamela Phelps, and Mark Christmas, both 23. If either of the pupils wins, schools fear a flood of disgruntled pupils could take their grievances to court, American-style.

Pamela Phelps claims that in failing to spot that she was dyslexic until two months before she left at 16, her schools condemned her to a life of "temporary menial tasks" and that she left school with a reading age of nine. Ms Phelps was represented by Cherie Booth QC who argued that her client was of above average intelligence and that her difficulties were caused by her disorder. She had been "lumped in" with pupils of low intelligence.

Ms Phelps explained that at Mellow Lane comprehensive in Hillingdon she was constantly bewildered because she could not read instructions on the blackboard or timetables. After leaving school in 1990 she had not been able to hold down a job and was now living on benefit.

Mark Christmas is suing Hampshire local authority, claiming that in neglecting to diagnose and treat his dyslexia it has damaged his earning potential. He is now working as a childcare officer.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now