The Rose Review Was Commissioned By The Secretary Of State, Ed Balls, To Make Recommendations On The Identification And Teaching Of Children With Dyslexia, And On How To Best Take Forward The Commitment In The Children's Plan

Briefing Paper- The Rose Review

January 2010

The Rose Review was commissioned by the Secretary of State, Ed Balls, to make recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia, and on how to best take forwards the commitment in the Children's Plan.

Sir Jim Rose conducted the review and presented a detailed report which can be accessed at The report offers recommendations for schools and local authorities and the DCSF. This briefing paper outlines

· The main findings of the report

· The recommendations in the report

· Lancashire's response

Main Findings


The review constructed a working definition of dyslexia and its characteristics.

" Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling."

● Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

● Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.

● It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.

● Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.

● A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well founded intervention.

Early Identification

The report suggests that rather than blanket screening; a better way would be to 'identify children at risk of literacy difficulties and dyslexia, closely observe and assess their responses to pre- and early reading activities in comparison to their typically developing peers in the reception year of primary schools, and beyond.'

Section 9 outlines the links with EYFSP, APP and AfL.

Effective Teaching of Reading

This section supports the approaches of the national strategies to the teaching of reading in primary and secondary aged children. Personalised learning – tailoring teaching and learning to the needs of the individual – is being promoted to schools as a critical driver in helping pupils to make the best possible progress, and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Effective Interventions for children with literacy or dyslexic difficulties

There is a well established evidence-base showing that intervention programmes which systematically prioritise phonological skills for reading and writing are effective for teaching reading to children with dyslexia.

Implications for teacher training and professional development

“The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers” is an obvious truth, which applies to the assessment and teaching of learners of any age who are dyslexic. In other words, success depends first and foremost on teachers who know what they are doing and why they are doing it.' In Removing Barriers to Achievement, the then-DfES said that every teacher should expect to teach children with special educational needs, and that they need to be equipped with the skills to do so effectively

-Core skills for teachers in all schools

All teachers of beginner readers should have at least a working knowledge of what to look for that suggests a child may be at risk of dyslexia and know where to seek advice on what steps are needed to help them. This working knowledge should be a normal constituent of initial teacher training of those destined to teach beginner readers, and updated through in-service training.

-Developing advanced skills in addressing literacy and dyslexic difficulties

Every school needs to be able to draw upon expertise in selecting Literacy interventions, and on implementing, monitoring and evaluating them.

-Developing specialist skills in addressing literacy and dyslexic difficulties

There is also a need to develop better access for schools, parents and children to the advice and skills of specialist dyslexia teachers, who can devise tailored interventions for children struggling most with literacy, whether or not they have been identified as having dyslexia.

What are parents looking for schools to do?

Parents must have confidence in the education system, and especially in their child’s school, to provide and sustain effective support for children with dyslexia.

The review therefore urges schools to make sure that they first have regard to The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice which provides guidance on the statutory duty of community, voluntary and foundation schools to use their best endeavours to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has

special educational needs. The Lamb Inquiry recently reviewed the provision of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disability information. Brian Lamb’s report said that parents need assurance that they will be engaged in a positive dialogue with their child’s school, that relevant information will be provided and that the way schools operate will be transparent.

Assuring the quality of provision

Head teachers and school management teams should keep a close eye on all three Waves of literacy provision, to make sure they are of high quality and well-coordinated. To help them with this, schools must be able to draw upon the expertise of teachers with specialist skills in addressing dyslexic difficulties.

The importance of schools and parents working together

It is all too obvious that the effects of dyslexia can be deeply disturbing for children and their parents. Moreover, there is a very real risk that parents’ anxieties will be transmitted to children. Along with the child’s experience of falling behind, this may result in worsening emotional barriers to reading. All of which means that it is essential for schools to engage parents in a constructive dialogue about how, together, they can help the child overcome the difficulties associated with dyslexia.

Report R ecommendations

To improve teaching, learning and outcomes for children with literacy and dyslexic difficulties:

Strengthening teaching and learning

-Recommendation 1

The DCSF should fund a number of teachers to undertake appropriately accredited specialist training in teaching children with dyslexia, in order to provide substantially improved access to specialist expertise in all schools and across all local authority areas.

-Recommendation 2

Local authorities should consider with schools how they might form groups which could share the resource of a specialist dyslexia teacher.

-Recommendation 3

The DCSF should commission short courses for teachers on selecting and teaching literacy intervention programmes. These courses should:

· cover the definition and characteristics of dyslexia in keeping with this review and the ‘Simple View of Reading’;

· equip participants with the expertise to select, implement, monitor and evaluate literacy interventions;

· ensure those trained are able to make best use of the published guidance on ‘What Works for children with literacy difficulties?’, and be able to advise other teachers and support staff on delivering high quality interventions;

· link on-line training materials eg the refreshed IDP and the literacy interventions guidance.

-Recommendation 4

The National Strategies should refresh the dyslexia IDP materials in the light of this review. The materials should continue to be promoted for serving and trainee teachers, and other members of the workforce involved with teaching literacy, such as teaching assistants.

-Recommendation 5

The DCSF should ask the BDA to review their accreditation criteria for training courses for specialist dyslexia teachers so that courses cover good practice in Wave 1 teaching of reading and writing, and how a child’s literacy would normally develop if s/he is not experiencing difficulties.

-Recommendation 6

The DCSF should ask the Training Development Agency for Schools and the initial teacher training sector to build on initiatives for strengthening coverage of special educational needs and disability (including dyslexia) in initial teacher training courses and through continuing professional development. For example, by capitalising on the Leading Literacy Schools programme so it includes opportunities for trainee teachers to work with experienced teachers who are successfully tackling children’s literacy difficulties.

-Recommendation 7

Local authorities should set out how schools can secure access to sufficient expertise to meet the needs of children with literacy and dyslexic difficulties.

Assessing children’s progress and identifying children’s difficulties

-Recommendation 8

The first step in identifying that children may have dyslexia is to notice those making poor progress in comparison with their typically developing peers, despite high quality Wave 1 teaching. Therefore, Local Authorities and the National Strategies should work with schools to make sure that they have in place good

monitoring arrangements to ascertain that Wave 1 teaching is of a high quality, especially in teaching word recognition and language comprehension skills in keeping with the ‘simple view of reading’.

-Recommendation 9

When the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework is reviewed in 2010, consideration should be given to how language development can be carefully monitored so that where children have emerging difficulties with aspects of language and literacy that may be obstacles to their progress, practitioners can take steps to overcome them and tailor provision more carefully to individual language needs.

-Recommendation 10

The DCSF should ask the QCA to ensure that Assessment for Learning (AfL) and Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP) secure continuity of assessment practice with that of the EYFSP, and thus assist with identifying literacy difficulties, which is a first step towards identifying dyslexia.

Further strengthening intervention programmes

-Recommendation 11

The DCSF should work with partners to develop the following additions to the delivery of Every Child a Reader and other interventions:

· Effective Wave 2 provision that is systematic in its approach to phonic work;

· pre- and post-intervention phonemic awareness assessment that picks up the word level skills children should master (based on a thorough review of published assessment materials);

· guidance on how class teachers, and the intervention teacher, should share information so that children’s progress through the phonic phases (as in Letters and Sounds 25) can be tracked, and interventions and in-class support planned as complementary responses. The dyslexia pilots proposed in the Children’s Plan should not go ahead.

Guidance for parents and others

-Recommendation 12

The DCSF should commission clear guidance for parents and schools on the policy and purpose of interventions. This should include explaining how effective interventions, for all school age groups, are to be made available for children with literacy and dyslexic difficulties, and how children’s progress will be monitored.

The content and implementation of this guidance should be independently evaluated.

-Recommendation 13

The guidance should be placed on an interactive website covering literacy and dyslexic difficulties, on which there should also be:

· regular updates on successful ways of helping children to overcome literacy and dyslexic difficulties;

· links to the Inclusion Development Programme (IDP) materials, and to the short course materials which feature in the third recommendation. A copy of this review and key background papers that contributed to it. A copy of ‘What Works for children with literacy difficulties?’ (G. Brooks’s 2007) guidance, which should be regularly updated.

-Recommendation 14

All schools should:

· keep parents informed of the plans for, and progress of, children with literacy or dyslexic difficulties;

· publish the procedures they follow to identify and support children with such difficulties.

-Recommendation 15

The DCSF should continue to promote its SEN information booklet for parents, so they are better placed to understand and question provision being made for their children. This should refer directly to provision for reading difficulties, including dyslexia.

-Recommendation 16

The DCSF should continue to fund a helpline that provides advice to parents and people working in schools on dyslexia and literacy difficulties.

Assuring the quality of provision

-Recommendation 17

Headteachers and governors should audit school provision to make sure that it complies with ‘The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice’ and the statutory duty on community, voluntary and foundation schools to use their best endeavours to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs. By definition, this will include identifying and making necessary provision for children with dyslexia.

-Recommendation 18

With the help of local authorities and the National Strategies, all primary and secondary schools should evaluate their intervention programmes, and make sure that where the expertise required for these programmes needs to be strengthened, steps are taken to do so.

-Recommendation 19

The DCSF should consider asking Ofsted to undertake a survey to evaluate the extent to which, and with what impact, primary and secondary schools are using interventions to advance the progress of children and young people experiencing a wide range of literacy difficulties. This should be timed to provide an opportunity to evaluate the implementation of this review’s recommendations.

Lancashire 's R esponse

A working group has been looking at the recommendations and as a result a number of steps have been taken including;

· Circulation of summary of report to schools

· Information summary to be made available for parents

· Teachers have been signposted to specialist courses

· Free additional training on dyslexia offered to SENCOs in the Spring Term 2010

· Summary of available training and resources to be made available to schools.