At the meeting of the Town Council of 1st February 2021, Cllr B J Martin proposed that this Council notes:
- That 1 in 10 people are dyslexic.
- Dyslexia is genetic and thus runs in families.
- 80% of dyslexics are never spotted at school. So they never truly understand their full potential.4 in 5 successful Dyslexics attribute Dyslexic Thinking Skills to their success.
- Methods to identify and support Dyslexia have been known since the 1930’s.
- The important work undertaken by the “British Dyslexia Association” and of the “Made by Dyslexia” campaign.
- Unidentified dyslexia results in low self-esteem.
- 40% of dyslexics said they were aware they couldn’t do what their classmates could aged 5.
- 70% said they were aware they couldn’t do what their classmates could aged 7.
- Dyslexics often fail tests & exams despite having great knowledge & ability of subject:
- 9 in 10 have poor spelling, grammar, punctuation, but can be great creative writers.
- 3 in 4 struggle with times tables. But around half of dyslexics are great at maths.
That people with dyslexia have different strengths for example:
- 75% of dyslexics are above average at visualising, interacting with space, senses, physical ideas & new concepts.
- 71% of dyslexics are above average at crafting & conveying clear & engaging messages.
- 84% of dyslexics are above average at creating an original piece of work or giving ideas a new spin.
- 84% of dyslexics are above average in reasoning skills, such as understanding patterns, evaluating possibilities & making decisions.
The positive contribution made by dyslexics in various fields, such as business, I invention, science, sport and entertainment, including bySir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Sir Jackie Stewart, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Keira Knightly, Orlando Bloom, Mollie King, Jamie Oliver, Holly Willoughby, Agatha Christie, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Dame Darcy Bussell, Chris Robshaw and many others.
This Council believes:
- It’s time we all understand dyslexia properly as a different way of thinking, not a disadvantage.
- Dyslexic brains are ‘wired’ slightly differently meaning they have a different way of processing information. That this difference results in a pattern of strengths like critical thinking, creativity & communication skills as well as challenges affecting traditional learning such as reading, writing, spelling, rote learning, memory, concentration. Each dyslexic will have a different pattern of strengths & challenges.
- Early identification is key to success in education & in preserving self-esteem. If we place as much importance on dyslexic strengths as difficulties, then those with dyslexia can achieve their potential.
- That it is important for parents, teachers and schools to arrange for children to have a dyslexia screening as soon as a “problem” is noticed.
This Council understands:
- That multi-sensory teaching techniques, which often benefit dyslexic students, are also effective for all learners.
- That free dyslexia screening tools are available, which indicate if an individual may have dyslexia, but that formal diagnosis can only be obtained from a professional in the field such as an Educational Psychologist.
- This Council recognises:
- And appreciates the efforts made by schools, educators, parents and guardians, both in continuing to provide education during the current pandemic, both in school and via virtual means, and in supporting those with neurodiversity.
- The difficulty schools face with regard to funding SEND provision.
- The Work of the British Dyslexia Association and the Made By Dyslexia campaign.
This council commits to:
- Signing the Made by Dyslexia pledge
- The Made by Dyslexia pledge reads “We will endeavour to: Recognise dyslexia as a different and valuable way of thinking. Understand the importance of identifying each dyslexic and their pattern of strengths and challenges. Support which is targeted to enable dyslexics to harness their strengths and flourish. We’ll achieve this through: Knowledge skilling up staff in schools and workplaces to recognise, understand and support dyslexia. Discover using digital screeners which make it easy and cost effective to check if you’re dyslexic. Adjustments in tests and assignments so dyslexics can demonstrate their full knowledge and skills.”
2. Contacting every school within the council area, to:
- Encourage them to take up the Free training available from the Made by Dyslexia campaign (https://connect-the-spots.madebydyslexia.org/)
- To sign the Made by Dyslexia pledge.
- To encourage them to work towards achieving BDA Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark
- To share links to resources such as; i. Free Dyslexia Screening tools https://www.nessy.com/uk/screening-for-dyslexia/
- The British Dyslexia Association advice https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/educators
- Writing to the local MP, the local director of education and to the secretary of state for education encouraging them to take the Made by Dyslexia pledge.
- Engaging with dyslexia awareness week (5th October 2021 – October 11th 2021) and going green for dyslexia awareness week.
Nessy UK https://www.nessy.com/uk/