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. 

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.

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. 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 linked to ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ and it has  ‘traffic light’ (green, amber and red) colour coding to guide teachers to the sections which are most appropriate for that teacher’s level of knowledge of dyslexia.

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.

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 aims to help teachers to identify pupils with dyslexia and to guide them in supporting those pupils who have been identified.

The 'Assessing Dyslexia' toolkit was endorsed by Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in March 2011.

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.

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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