Literacy for all?

The Driver Youth Trust’s Through the Looking Glass report launches this week, March 23rd.

This piece from Anita Kerwin-Nye marks the occasion, discussing inclusion and what it means for literacy campaigns.   

As a parent of children with significant challenges - including one whose struggle with reading leaves her exhausted at the end of every school day - how we support children with literacy difficulties is a key professional personal theme.


Some years ago when running The Communication Trust and working with I CAN, I was struck by a conversation with the CEO of a major literacy organisation about their approach to support children with SEND – with conditions like dyslexia or development language disorder. This was an organisation looking at literacy for all, and their response to my questions left me perplexed: they said, “We are not an SEND organisation”.

At the time the principles and practice of inclusion were not as under threat as many fear they are today. It was a time of relative plenty, pre-Austerity, a time when Every Child Mattered. To stress, this was a credible organisation doing great work in encouraging parent/child reading; in battling for books for all; in schemes to develop a love of literature. Wonderful work that provided a solid platform for the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Perhaps this should have been a red flag.

Keep reading here.

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Anita Kerwin-Nye