Introduction to Specialist Teacher Courses and Accreditation.
This section provides information on post graduate courses in teaching students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), BDA Accreditation and application for Practising Certificates.
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Please note that the BDA Helpline is unable to answer specialist teacher queries.
Types of Course.
There are two levels of qualification for qualified teachers:
Diploma in SpLD, level 7.
A higher level post graduate course lasting approximately one year part time. This can lead to AMBDA status (Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association).
Certificate in SpLD, level 5.
A course lasting approximately one year part time. This can lead to ATS (Approved Teacher Status). Teachers completing this level can go on to complete the second part of the Diploma course.
Both Diploma and Certificate courses can be taken at either pre16 level or FE/HE level.
Teachers eligible for these courses will normally be graduates with QTS status and have a minimum of two years teaching experience. Teachers completing the Certificate course without QTS can apply for APS (Approved Practitioner Status).
In addition there are Learning Assistant Courses in supporting pupils with SpLDs, leading to ALSA status (Accredited Learning Support Assistant).
Will I be able to carry out assessments?
Candidates completing the Diploma course are eligible to apply for a Practising Certificate to carry out diagnostic assessments, including those for Disabled Students’ Allowances, and assessments for Access Arrangements for examinations according under the JCQ regulations.
Teachers with the Certificate level course would be qualified to offer learning support to pupils with SpLDs and carry out screening tests only.
The BDA accredits courses offered by course providers and also offers the opportunity for individual accreditation to candidates completing these courses.
For details see Accreditation.
In order to ensure continuation of the highest possible standards under this accreditation, teachers are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development to be submitted every three years.