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My child's education

Reasonable adjustments in education

Dyslexia can have a substantial and long term adverse effect on normal day to day activities, and is therefore a recognised disability under the Equality Act 2010.

The Act states that schools and higher education institutions have a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' for disabled students (which can include students with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia). A school or college must ensure that pupils with additional needs can fully participate in the education provided by the school, and that they can enjoy the other benefits, facilities and services that the school provides.

Many reasonable adjustments are inexpensive and involve a change in practice rather than expensive equipment or additional staff. Small considered changes can have a big impact on a student's education and can benefit all students.

Examples of reasonable adjustments

  • Offer alternatives to writing as a key method of recording
  • Provide handouts that contain the key learning points rather than asking pupils to copy text from the whiteboard or take notes
  • Repeat instructions/information and check for understanding of tasks
  • Use visual timetables with colour coding and symbols
  • Alter format options onscreen or on an interactive whiteboard
  • Encourage peer support to record homework tasks in the planner
  • Provide access to assistive technology such as a computer for pupils who find it difficult to read large amounts of text or to write quickly enough in class
  • Use multi-sensory ways of teaching
  • Allow time to respond as many dyslexic students are slower to process information
  • Break information and instructions into smaller 'chunks'

In addition to reasonable adjustments in class, Access Arrangements in exams allow equality of access to assessment in education - they can help eligible dyslexic candidates show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the assessment. Access Arrangements can include extra time, a scribe, a reader, assistive software or modified exam papers. For more information visit the Exam Access Arrangements webpage.