Creating parent partnerships

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Parents deserve to be informed as soon as you suspect a student has dyslexic-like tendencies. This is the most effective way to build trust and respect, and to create effective parent partnerships which support the child in the home and so optimise the good work you do in the classroom. An acid test of a school that is working is parental confidence. Parental confidence comes as a consequence of school action and quality communication. In short, a high trust environment simply doesn't just happen – the school must be proactive.

This is not necessarily about making a formal assessment of dyslexia – rather it is about noticing signs that may indicate a learning preference based on atypical thinking, and adjusting your teaching accordingly. More on these signs can be found in our ‘notice and adjust’ space. Importantly, concerns should be shared with parents/carers sooner rather than later. Schools that reach out and share their concerns reap the benefit in terms of parental respect and trust. If the parent has to come to the school first to bring issues to attention, then the school has probably missed a trick. One of the things that defines a dyslexia aware self-managing school is the willingness to proactively identify students with issues. In essence, we want to look for trouble – not to confer a label, but to action a response.

Of course some students - estimated at around 4% (compared to the conservatively estimated 10% of the population who are dyslexic) - may need additional specialist help, screening tests, small group and one-on-one interventions to help them make real progress. Additional guidance on identifying dyslexia can be found on the 4D Schools website at and in the 4D Guide for Schools.. The guide also includes useful information on screening tests.

In terms of support for parents, the Dyslexia Foundation’s parents’ space, 4D Home, provides an incredible wealth of information for parents whose child doesn’t seem to be making the same progress as others at school. This includes advice on how to best support the child both at home and in learning, and also includes information on the personal experiences of parents, and on solutions providers.



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