Knowledge Banks


Home » Knowledge Banks » Dyslexia

To obtain this article

If you are a subscriber to any of our other publications your existing account details can be used to purchase this article. Simply login with your username and password when prompted.

For assistance and general enquiries, call our sales team on 0121 224 7599


Some of our parents are complaining that we are not dyslexia-friendly. What can we do about it?

Dyslexia has never attracted as much attention as it does now. The number of pupils and adults diagnosed as dyslexic has spiralled to the point where the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) estimate that 10% of the population have it. 


As a school, it is important that you have considered the provision that you make for dyslexic pupils alongside your general focus on improving teaching and learning. The good news, is that making your school dyslexia-friendly need not mean too much upheaval. Good practice for the dyslexic pupil is usually good practice for other pupils too. 


In fact, the BDA are keen to promote that dyslexia is a difference in learning rather than a difficulty and prefer that the support you provide is part of your provision for an inclusive, differentiated curriculum rather than as part of your SEN entitlement. 


Diagnosing dyslexia 


Dyslexia can be very difficult to diagnose. Letter and number reversal are the most common signs but these are generally very common up to the age of 7 or 8. Other signs you might note include:

Pre-school signs:

Has difficulty

Learning nursery rhymes

Paying attention

Getting dressed

Carrying out more than one instruction

Hopping or skipping


Has difficulty


Following instructions

Pronouncing words

Following a story 

Remembering things in sequential order

With the concept of time


Has difficulty

Taking notes

Identifying the main ideas


Learning foreign languages 

Processing problems quickly 

 The dyslexia friendly school

There are four standards that make up the dyslexic friendly school:

1. Leadership and management – including planning for dyslexia in the school improvement plan and other policy documents

2. Teaching and learning – including training and development of teachers

3. Classroom environment – such as use of resources and classroom organisation

4. Partnership and liaison with parents and governors 

To help you tune yourself more to your dyslexic students you might begin by asking yourself some key questions:

How do we identify dyslexic pupils?

How do we know who our dyslexic pupils are? 

How do we support our dyslexic pupils in and outside of the classroom?

How do we ensure that dyslexic pupils are able to succeed in all subjects? 

How does our assessment practice support our dyslexic pupils? 

Strategies you might use 

Many of these are the process of good teaching and learning and will support all pupils in a class and not just those with dyslexia. For example:

Target-setting and monitoring progress

Immediate intervention where a problem emerges

Giving learners more time to complete tasks

Introducing different ways of recording information 

The use of synthetic phonics

Using a multi-sensory approach

Providing instructions in different ways 

Making learning intentions clear and summarising at the end of the lesson 

Focusing on how pupils learn and using a balance of different approaches to suite different learning styles 

For more information on research and practice:  

‘Teaching Children with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties’ the independent report by Sir Jim Rose  includes recommendations for identifying and teaching children with dyslexia. 

Related Articles

Unknown Type

Jim Rose's Report into Dyslexia

'Identifying and teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties' an independent report published in June 2009
MS Word

Teaching Children with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties

This is an independent report from Sir Jim Rose to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families June 2009. Sir Jim Rose was asked to make recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia, and on how best to take forward the commitment in the Children’s Plan to establish a pilot scheme in which children with dyslexia will receive Reading Recovery support or one-to-one tuition from specialist dyslexia teachers. This review aims to help policy makers and providers strengthen practice, and assure parents that provision for children with dyslexia will be as good as possible. Leadership Briefings Issue 4.03 (39)
MS Word

Learning Difficulties Accessibility Guidelines

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) has launched new accessibility materials which will help teachers and trainers meet the needs of students with learning difficulties. Often the most time-consuming and expensive adjustments are not always the most effective, and these guidelines merge, for the first time, technical and pedagogical advice to help personalise the delivery of learning. Folder: Leadership Briefings Issue 3.09 (33)

Mind mapping for dyslexics

Computers offer all sorts of respite for dyslexic learners – they have spelling and grammar check and there are no handwriting worries. Mind mapping software is another useful tool – it allows anyone to express their ideas freely, says Wendy Keay-Bright, who has done extensive research with dyslexic children.