Wiltshire Council's Specialist SEN Service (SSENS) is currently supporting 18 primary and secondary schools across Wiltshire to achieve the Quality Mark. Following verification visits from the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) we now have seven dyslexia-friendly schools across the county.
The award is issued to schools or organisations that can demonstrate that they provide high quality education and/or practice for dyslexic individuals. Obtaining the Quality Mark provides a framework for schools to improve their understanding of dyslexia and literacy difficulties and to develop strategies that support the achievement and engagement of dyslexic learners.
Holding the Quality Mark is a positive statement and lets everyone know that the school is a good place for dyslexic individuals. Wiltshire Council is committed to the dyslexia-friendly schools project, with a further 11 schools across Wiltshire aiming to also achieve this quality mark in 2022-23.
Becoming a dyslexia friendly school requires the involvement and commitment of all of those within the school, and a review of the school's approach to:
- Teaching and learning
- Monitoring and assessment
- High-quality practice across the range of ability and need.
Wiltshire Council's Specialist SEN Service recognises dyslexia, using a definition supported by evidence from the British Psychological Society and leading dyslexia associations:
- Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent reading and/or spelling develops very incompletely or with great difficulty
- Difficulties persist at the 'word level' (i.e. the reading and spelling of individual words) despite appropriate educational opportunities and well-founded intervention
- Dyslexia can occur across pupils of all abilities
- Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory, and verbal processing speed.
If you would like to find out more about the support for dyslexia in Wiltshire, please read the comprehensive document on support and identification for learners:
The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council have a link to information and contact details for two local dyslexia groups: Wiltshire Dyslexia Association and the Marlborough and District Dyslexia Association.