Assessments for dyslexia should be state funded

Every child who is suspected of having dyslexia must be provided with a publicly funded assessment, after a select committee of MPs heard children from lower income families are still missing out, the Green Party says.

Last year half of all the schools that made no Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) applications, which help dyslexic students with their exams, were decile one or two.

This follows previous revelations that the vast bulk of kids who got one on one assistance in exams because of a special need were from wealthy state and private schools.

“The help that children get to overcome challenges such as dyslexia shouldn’t be dependent on the income of their parents,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Children who apply for SAC are required to get proof of their special needs, usually from an educational psychologist. It seems clear that the cost of an assessment means kids from lower decile schools are still not getting access to the help they need.

“During the Select Committee inquiry into dyslexia that I initiated, we have heard from many parents who have had to pay $700 for the assessments to back up their SAC application.

“No child should have to miss out on the support they need to succeed, because their parents haven’t got much money.

“The Education Select Committee is about to start work on recommendations for how the education system can be changed to better help families facing learning challenges such as dyslexia. I will be pushing strongly for a more equal education system, where all children are able to access the help that they need,” Ms Delahunty said.

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