Call to make dyslexia training mandatory for student teachers

Call to make dyslexia training mandatory for student teachers

Around 100,000 primary and secondary pupils are thought to be affected by dyslexia. File Picture posed by model.

Calls have been made to make dyslexia training mandatory for student teachers so they can fully support around 100,000 primary and secondary pupils with the learning difficulty.

Fine Gael senator Tim Lombard is urging Education Minister Norma Foley to introduce a compulsory module on all teacher training courses from September.

Mr Lombard said: “Dyslexia is the most common learning difference within the education system. It affects one in 10 children, which equates to three students in every classroom, on average.

These young people have the right to receive an education appropriate to their needs. 

This is only possible when teachers have been adequately resourced and trained to understand dyslexia in a holistic way and how to best identify and support students."

He said that teachers have reported receiving either minimal training or none at all on dyslexia in their Initial Training Education (ITE). Of those that received training, most felt it was insufficient.

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Mr Lombard, who recently raised the issue with junior minister Malcolm Noonan, said: “Student teachers who are weeks from completing their training told me that they have not received training on dyslexia as part of their ITE to date.

“In response to my contribution in the Seanad, Minister Noonan asserted that dyslexia training ‘is, in effect, mandatory’ as part of teacher training. 

However, I don’t believe that this is correct, or indeed adequate, as it is contradictory to what I am hearing from the experiences of teachers on the ground.

“I have engaged with members of the dyslexic community, teachers, and student teachers who are currently going through their ITE, and all disagree that mandatory dyslexia training is included as part of the teacher training education.

“I will be writing to the Minister for Education to request a meeting on this issue and to ask her can she ensure mandatory training is introduced from September 2022 for all student teachers via a compulsory module on teacher training courses."

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