Readers of this blog may remember comments made by Graham Stringer MP some time ago, which made the surprising announcement that dyslexia does not exist. (Surprising to those of us who are dyslexic).
I was angry at the time because I knew the statement would spread confusion and distress among a group of people who suffer enough distress already.
At the time, I wrote a couple of articles on the issue, went on radio to talk about it and, once I'd calmed down a bit, wrote to the Labour Party asking for clarification. They were kind enough to get back to me with a statement. I then wrote back requesting permission to reproduce their statement on my blog. To that I have still received no reply. After a long delay, I have decided to publish their statement anyway, and trust that if they want me to remove it, they'll let me know.
Following recent statements by Labour MP Graham Stringer, I would like to know if it is Labour Party policy that 'dyslexia is a cruel fiction'. If not, I'd be grateful to know what Labour Party policy is on this matter. Or indeed if the Labour Party has no policy. Many thanks.
Dear Mr Duncan Thank you for your email about Graham Stringer's comments. His comments made do not reflect Labour Party policy. We understand the distress and frustration that many parents of a dyslexic child feel so keenly. Often they have endured years of struggle trying to get extra help to overcome their child's difficulties with reading and writing. That is why the Labour Government is working with a number of dyslexia organisations to identify and promote best practice in identifying and supporting children with dyslexia.The Secretary of State for Children, Ed Balls, has asked schools to look closely at the support they offer for dyslexia. As well as helping fund the British Dyslexia Association parents' helpline, the government are spending £1m through the 'No to Failure' project which is trailblazing and evaluating the effect of both specialist training for teachers and specialist tuition for children with dyslexia. Ed Balls has asked Sir Jim Rose - who is currently doing a review of the primary curriculum - to look at these and other schemes and make recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia. He will be publishing his recommendations in the Spring. Regards, Ben Nicol Membership & Communications Unit The Labour Party