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British Dyslexia Association launch comprehensive advice for parents on the legal rights of their dyslexic child

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Empowered Parents will help parents work with schools and navigate the Education, Health and Care Plan system.

Today, the British Dyslexia Association has launched Empowered Parents, a guide on how to work collaboratively with schools and if parents feel the school is not meeting their child’s needs, how to apply for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to give a legally binding support proposal. As well as practical advice on supporting a child with dyslexia at home.

With around a million young people in education who are dyslexic and at least 80 percent of those undiagnosed, this piece of work potentially creates vast numbers of parents enabled to pursue what the law entitles them to.

Helen Boden, CEO, British Dyslexia Association, said:

“The pack is launched following years of budget cuts, leaving parents finding it almost impossible to access adequate support if their child has dyslexia.

“EHCPs give a way for parents to access support for a child they know or suspect has dyslexia. Yet, most parents are unaware of this, and due to the budget pressures from central government, we hear of many schools and local authorities giving mixed messages leading parents into thinking you can’t get an EHCP for dyslexia.

“Long term, we want a better system where support for dyslexia is freely available on the front line. But to help parents manage the system now, we are launching Empowered Parents, giving parents practical advice on supporting their child, working with their school and advice on how to access the EHCP system.”

Leighton Denny MBE, Beauty Entrepreneur, Brand Ambassador and British Dyslexia Association Ambassador, who has supported the launch of Empowered Parents, said:

“I have no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today without my dyslexic thinking. I find I can see things more clearly and perhaps less traditionally than other people – I say I ‘think out of the bottle’.

“Yet those years at school mean I sometimes still feel stupid and guilty about things like silly spelling mistakes. I don’t want any child to go through what I did at school and I don’t want any parent to have to make huge sacrifices to get basic support.

“If you can, it’s always best to work collaboratively with your child’s school but never forget you and your child has a right to dyslexia support and never be afraid to exercise that.”

Empowered Parents is part of the ongoing work of the British Dyslexia Association to help parents access the support the Children & Families Act (2014) entitles them to. Whilst the British Dyslexia Association always advocates for working collaboratively with a child’s school first, due to the extreme budget pressures schools are under from central government, often this doesn’t work. Budget constraints are not a reason to deny legal rights though and Empowered Parents is designed to give parents the tools to get the access to the support they are entitled to.

The pack has been developed following feedback from desperate parents contacting the British Dyslexia Association Helpline and running Parents’ Roadshows across the country for the last two years.

The guidance in the document only relates to policy in England, devolution in North Ireland, Scotland and Wales means policy relating to education can differ. For more information on this area for Scotland, visit, For Wales and North Ireland, please contact the British Dyslexia Association Helpline.