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24th November 2006 at 00:00
A pioneering project to train teachers in how to recognise dyslexia has been backed by Formula One legend and dyslexic Sir Jackie Stewart (left).

The pound;1.4 million Inclusive Practice Project, based at Aberdeen University's school of education, will investigate and develop new ways of training teachers to help children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. It will support the professional development of experienced teachers to ensure that every child has an equal chance in school, and provide training for new teachers to give them a greater awareness and understanding of the educational and social issues that can affect children's learning.

The project is to be headed by Professors Martyn Rouse and Lani Florian, who are moving from Cambridge University. Professor Rouse has been appointed chair of Social and Educational Inclusion and director of the Inclusive Practice Project, and Professor Florian chair of Social and Educational Inclusion.

Sir Jackie, who is president of Dyslexia Scotland and helped secure funding for the project, called for all future teachers in Scotland to be taught how to recognise dyslexia in young pupils early.

The problem, however, was that there were thousands of teacher who did not have any experience in recognising learning disabilities. The humiliation and frustration felt by young people with dyslexia often led them into trouble, he said. "It is no coincidence that 70 per cent of our prison population cannot read. Many of them are dyslexic."

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