Project to help dyslexic children wins 3m funding

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Indy Politics

By Andrew Grice, Political Editor

A 3m programme to help dyslexic children who are struggling to read and write will be announced by the Government today.

Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Schools, will promise new financial support for pilot projects aimed at finding out which approaches are most successful so that they can be implemented more widely.

Last month, The Independent revealed that one pioneering project, Springboard for Children, a charity backed by the British Dyslexia Association, had achieved a 90 per cent success rate in a dozen schools in London and Manchester. Mr Balls now wants to encourage similar schemes.

He will promise that up to 300 children a year with dyslexia will benefit from intensive support under the Government's Every Child a Reader programme.

Ten local authority areas will participate in a scheme costing 1m a year for three years. Half of the pupils will receive one-to-one reading recovery support and half one-to-one tuition from specialist dyslexia teachers if they do not make progress during recovery support. The children's responses will be monitored and if they do well, the succesful approaches will be gradually extended nationwide.

The Government will also provide the association with extra funding of 150,000 over two years to develop its telephone helpline and 250,000 over three years to Dyslexia Action so it can run one-to-one tuition pilots in 10 more schools.

National curriculum tests for 11-year-olds show that about 120,000 children a year leave primary school without reaching the required standard in English.