Dyslexics diagnosed, but back-up is missing

21st November 1997 at 00:00
I was upset, if not incensed, by the statements attributed to The British Dyslexia Association, in the article "Catastrophic delay for young dyslexics" (TES, November 7).

The problem is not that teachers and schools refuse to diagnose children with dyslexia.

Rather it is that having recognised there is a specific learning difficulty, and having persuaded the parents to pay around Pounds 100 for assessment by the local dyslexia centre (or not, if they cannot afford it), we are faced with a situation where we know the child needs some individual support from a trained professional with back-up support in school. But who is going to fund this support?

Local authorities have laid down stringent criteria as to how far behind a child must be in terms of national curriculum levels, before they will find extra support.

It should come as no surprise to readers of The TES to learn that these criteria appear to have become moveable goalposts over the past three years .

As teachers of these children, we are greatly disturbed by this state of affairs.

We can see what help they desperately need; we therefore do our best to provide what support we can from with the existing framework and special education needs budget. It is obvious to us that this is insufficient.

It has to be recognised at national level that it costs money to provide sufficient support for pupils with all kinds of special educational needs in mainstream schools - by way of providing additional personnel, resources and training.

Until then we will be in an increasing downward spiral in terms of meeting these needs. You cannot have first-class education for all on the cheap.

ESME TACKLEY

Ferncroft

84 Church Lane

Cheshunt

Hertfordshire

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