Scottish Government's response to Making Sense: Education for Children and Young People with Dyslexia in Scotland

Response to Making Sense: Education for Children and Young People with Dyslexia in Scotland.


The Education Scotland report was the outcome of an independent review of education for children and young people who have dyslexia which had been carried out on behalf of the Scottish Government. The review covered the experiences of learners in primary, secondary and special schools. It also looked into the provision made by local authorities and at the programmes of initial teacher education currently offered by universities in Scotland.

A previous report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education ( HMIE), Education for Learners with Dyslexia (2008), looked at services provided by local authorities, colleges and schools for learners with literacy and language skills difficulties. HMIE found that the range and quality of learning and teaching approaches were appropriate in the majority of schools and in a few schools, were considered to be highly effective. In approximately half of the education authorities surveyed, there were no specialist facilities offered, however, effective support was often provided by educational psychologists, learning assistants or network support staff.

The main aspects of effective learning and teaching of students with dyslexia were identified as multi-sensory in nature, well-structured and interactive. Although most parents had the opportunity to attend reviews of their children's progress and contribute to targets, very few parents or pupils were provided with sufficient information regarding the authority's or school's policy regarding dyslexia. The extent of involvement available to parents varied and some parents criticised delays in accessing specialist support.

This report drew on information which had been collected from a range of sources by Education Scotland staff:

  • Information from primary, secondary and special school inspections (Easter-October 2013);
  • Information about provision for trainee teachers in initial teacher education ( ITE) institutions, provided by these institutions;
  • Information about local authority provision across Scotland, provided by local authorities;
  • Focus groups of parents;
  • Focused visits to a sample of primary, secondary and special schools by Education Scotland staff, including discussions with pupils, parents, school staff and local authority officers;
  • Discussion with the Cross Party Group on Dyslexia; and
  • Discussions with Scottish Government, General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS) and Dyslexia Scotland.


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