Friday 3 March 2023
The BDA and Dyscalculia
Today is Dyscalculia Day and we are delighted to work alongside the Dyscalculia Network in promoting awareness of dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties so that individuals can access the support they need.
The BDA has always recognised that people with dyslexia may also struggle with maths learning. Our vision is a world where people with dyslexia can flourish and this means enabling access to both literacy and numeracy skills. We aim to achieve this by raising awareness of numeracy difficulties, providing training for parents, teachers and employers and ensuring that early identification of maths learning difficulties is facilitated and followed up with evidence-based interventions and support followed by a formal assessment if required.
Numeracy is important in all areas of life and can impact an individual financially, socially and professionally. Confidence and capability with numbers “is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health”. Therefore, supporting individuals with dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties is of critical importance for their life chances. In the UK, most employers require a grade 4 or above at GSCE so poor numeracy skills in schools often result in poor opportunities in work and in life.
At the BDA, we have worked closely with experts in the field and with SASC to call for a clear definition of dyscalculia. We provide accredited training at levels 2, 3 and 5 and are developing our level 7 course to develop dyscalculia assessors who are qualified to this level. We also deliver CPD sessions, publish specialist tutor lists and provide a helpline for the general public to answer their queries and signposts next steps.
Our primary concern is to ensure that our beneficiaries – individuals who struggle with literacy and numeracy – can access the expert help they need.
We want that help and support to be:
- Accurate and consistent
- Implementing best practice
Identifying learning difficulties is not always straightforward. It is complex. Whilst it is vitally important for individuals to understand their learning differences - it is equally important to ensure they are not given incorrect information or mis-diagnosed. Whilst 25% of the population may have maths learning difficulties, only 6% may have dyscalculia.
In this young and developing field of dyscalculia, the BDA wants to promote the high professional standards that are currently in place for dyslexia teaching and assessing which ensure the public can have confidence in the information they receive. This approach will also ensure that educational professionals have access to guidance on best practice and deliver high quality services and support.
That is why our accreditation procedures require specific standards of training of specialist teachers and assessors, delivered by established institutions who are accredited course providers. This is to ensure that the families, educational professionals, employers and candidates, employees and members of the general public can be completely confident in the consistency and standardisation of the training and professionalism of specialist teachers or assessors.
At the BDA we are always in awe of the amazing work that teachers and educational professionals do with children and adults with dyslexia and other learning challenges including maths learning difficulties and dyscalculia. Your commitment to supporting these learners is phenomenal and we are so grateful for the service you provide in our community. Thank you!
 Andreas Schleicher, OECD
Come and learn more about dyscalculia at our online conference on 18th May 2023.
Book your place here!