Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit

All teachers are encouraged to use the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit.

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What is the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit?

The Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit is a free comprehensive online resource for all who are involved in the identification and support of learners aged 3-18 years who are showing signs of literacy difficulties. The Toolkit was redesigned and launched on 8 March 2017 by John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills and our President Sir Jackie Stewart OBE. Click here to see a short film about the launch.

One of the recommendations in the 2014 Education Scotland report ‘Making Sense: Education for Children and Young People with Dyslexia in Scotland’ was that Dyslexia Scotland should work with local authorities and schools to encourage all teachers to be familiar with, and make appropriate use of, the Toolkit.

Dyslexia and Inclusive practice: free online training modules for teachers 

Three free online learning modules, which support GTC Scotland Professional Standards, Professional Update and Professional Recognition, are being developed primarily for teachers, school management and GTCS registered local authority education officers.

       The first module is now live:  

Who develops and maintains the Toolkit?   

The Toolkit was developed by a specialist working group chaired by Dr. Margaret Crombie until 2014. The Toolkit continues to be maintained by the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit Working Group, chaired by Fran Ranaldi since April 2014, who led the redesign of the Toolkit launched in March 2017. The overall project is managed by Dyslexia Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government.  

The Toolkit will guide you through the steps from initially identifying some early signs of difficulty in literacy development, ensuring appropriate teaching and support, evaluating that support, and where appropriate, considering whether the term ‘dyslexia’ is appropriate. 

The resource is closely linked to ‘Curriculum for Excellence’.

The Toolkit: background and history

The Dyslexia Toolkit Working Group, chaired by Dr. Margaret Crombie from 2009 - 2014, initially developed the online toolkit for teachers and early years workers to use to assess literacy difficulties and dyslexia.

Funded by the Scottish Government, the Toolkit was formally launched by our President, Sir Jackie Stewart, and Mike Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in June 2010.  Read more in this article in the Times Educational Supplement Scotland. In a letter to all Directors of Education in Scotland, Mr. Russell emphasised how important it was for teachers to use the Toolkit in order to provide pupils with the support they need. He encouraged all schools in all local authorities to make full use of the free online Toolkit. Click here to read the letter.

Following further Scottish Government funding, additional work was carried out to extend the Toolkit and in September 2012, the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit was launched at the Scottish Learning Festival by Dr. Alasdair Allan. It has since been further redesigned and launched in March 2017 by John Swinney and Sir Jackie Stewart.


Professional learning opportunities

The speakers at the 2010 launch were filmed for inclusion on the Toolkit website. These filmed presentations are useful for anyone wishing to find out more about the toolkit – including the background to the toolkit development, the reasons why the toolkit is so important, how to use the toolkit and what HMIE’s expectations are from schools in supporting learners with additional support needs.

These film clips can easily be incorporated into CPD sessions in schools and local authorities about the toolkit, as well as used by individual teachers and parents.

The Professional learning section of the Toolkit has activities and exercises designed to help teachers learn more about how to use the Toolkit as part of their professional learning updates.

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