"SEND learners are airbrushed from policy"

Today marks the launch of The Driver Youth Trust’s Through the Looking Glass report.

This piece from Director and Whole School SEND Steering Group member Chris Rossiter explains it is important.

 Influential literacy reports by leading think tanks and charities have ignored the thousands of children who will never catch up in reading and writing but who can still achieve a full and rounded education, says Chris Rossiter.


“Dyslexia isn’t even a thing”; “exam extra time is a middle class purchase”; “the dyslexia industry selling specialist courses”. These are all things that I have heard recently, in my role as the Director of the Driver Youth Trust. From teachers.

Whether or not we agree with the label of dyslexia; whether we recognise the condition or not, surely we all know that there is a significant group of children – with dyslexia or other impairments – who will never achieve the same level of literacy as their peers without significant specialist support. And that there are some young people who – even with all the support in the world – will never come anywhere near the arbitrary GCSE score that makes them ‘literate’ in the eyes of the world (and how much more arbitrary is that score with this year’s grade changes).

But we cannot blame teachers – the leading think tanks and others who form and frame policy are writing glowing and glossy pieces on achieving 100% literacy that airbrush out those who cannot be saved by a ‘love of reading’ or poor fathers reading to their children.

Keep reading here

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Chris Rossiter, Driver Youth Trust