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Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils

Category Criteria

There are six categories within our criteria:

DSP - Dyslexia Specialist Provision

The school is established primarily to teach pupils with dyslexia. The curriculum and timetable are designed to meet specific needs in a holistic, co-ordinated manner with a significant number of teaching staff holding nationally recognised qualifications in teaching dyslexic pupils.

Schools in the DSP Category

DU - Dyslexia Unit

The school has a designated Unit or Centre that provides specialist tuition, on a small group or individual basis, according to need. The Unit or Centre is an adequately resourced teaching area, under the management of a senior specialist teacher, who co-ordinates the work of other specialist teachers and ensures on-going liaison with all mainstream teachers. The serior SpLD teacher will probably have Head of Department status, will hold nationally recognised qualifications in teaching SpLD pupils and will certainly have significant input into the general school curriculum design and delivery.

SPS - Specialist Provision Schools

The school is established to teach pupils with SpLD and other associated difficulties. The curriculum and timetable are designed to meet specific needs in a holistic, co-ordinated manner with a significant number of teaching staff holding nationally recognised qualifications.

Schools in the SPS Category

WS - Withdrawal System

Schools where SpLD pupils are withdrawn from appropriately selected lessons, for specialist tuition from a teacher with a nationally recognised qualification in teaching SpLD pupils. There is on-going communication between mainstream and specialist teachers.

MS - Maintained Sector

These are schools which support SpLD pupils to access the curriculum; where there is an effective system of identifying SpLD pupils; where there is a withdrawal system for individualised literacy support and there is positive on-going communication between mainstream, SEN Staff and the SMT.

TC - Teaching Centres

Support provided outside of the school environment.

Centres providing specialist tuition for small groups or individuals, in an adequately resourced teaching area, managed by a teacher with BDA recognised qualifications (AMBDA or APC), who coordinates the work of other specialist dyslexia teachers.

Criteria 1-5: applicable to all schools and centres

1. The school or centre implements a thorough and rigorous process for identifying children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)
2. The Senior Management Team and, in the case of schools, Governors, fully support the provision for SpLD pupils.
3. The impact of the provision for SpLD pupils is measured (a system to regularly monitor the provision for pupils and to assess their achievements).
4. There is an awareness by all members of staff of the necessity to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of SpLD pupils and this will be evident across the curriculum.
5. In Addition:
5.1. Resources for learning appropriate to the level of need.
5.2 IT provision relevant and of high quality, including up-to-date and regularly used programs for SpLD pupils.
5.3 Access arrangements for all examinations sought as needed. Assessments for access arrangements must comply with Joint Council for Qualifications guidelines (see note 2 below).
5.4 Specific structured, cumulative and multi-sensory teaching materials to address literacy with SpLD pupils.
5.5 An annual report for parents on the progress of pupils, who exhibit SpLD.

In addition to the above the following criteria relate to the various categories:

6. Specific to the Category of School or Centre: DSP DU MS SPS WS TC
6.1 The school/centre is established primarily to teach pupils with SpLD which may include other difficulties. Yes Yes
6.2 The school is established primarily to teach pupils with SpLD. Yes
6.3 A Unit or Centre providing specialist tuition on a small group or individual basis, within the school environment. Yes
6.4 A Unit or Centre providing specialist tuition on a small group or individual basis, independent of the school environment. Yes
6.5 The Unit or Centre is adequately resourced, under the management of a senior specialist teacher, who co-ordinates the work of other specialist teachers. Yes Yes
6.6 The Head of Unit will have Head of Department status, and must have an input into curriculum design and delivery. Yes
6.7 The Centre is organised by a qualified teacher who designs both content and delivery of teaching materials and lessons. Yes
6.8 There is provision for individualised lessons on a withdrawal basis, support staff communicate with mainstream teachers regarding the SpLD pupils. Yes Yes
6.9 Assessment for admission to the school should include a report from an Educational Psychologist or a fully qualified specialist teacher assessor. Yes Yes
7. Qualifications of Teaching Staff: DSP DU MS SPS WS TC
7.1 The Head of Learning Support (or equivalent) should be a qualified teacher holding a nationally recognised qualification for the teaching of pupils with SpLD. Exceptions may only be allowed after special reference to the Council. Yes Yes Yes Yes
7.2 The teacher in charge should hold a nationally recognised qualification for the teaching of SpLD pupils. Exceptions may only be allowed after special reference to the Council. Yes
7.3 As a minimum, all English teachers and teachers of literacy skills will have nationally recognised qualifications in the teaching of SpLD pupils. In exceptional circumstances the consultant may recommend to Council that an experienced teacher or a teacher undergoing training satisfies this criterion. Yes Yes
7.4 The majority of lessons in the Unit or Centre to be taught by those having nationally recognised qualifications in the teaching of SpLD pupils. In exceptional circumstances the consultant may recommend to Council that an experienced teacher undergoing training satisfies this criterion. Yes Yes
7.5 The majority of teachers providing literacy support hold a nationally recognised qualification in the teaching of SpLD pupils. In exceptional circumstances the consultant may recommend to Council that an experienced teacher undergoing training satisfies this criterion. Yes
7.6 There is either an SpLD specialist teacher in the school or the school uses specialist support and advice as needed. Yes
7.7 The teaching assistants responsible for in-class support have received specific training in SpLD and will continue to receive regular Continuous Professional Development in supporting SpLD pupils. Yes

Please Note:

  • 'Qualified' means having undertaken training in Specific Learning Difficulties to at least the levels required to gain the British Dyslexia Association Approved Teacher Status (ATS)* or where schools have a teacher with an MA in SpLD/SEN, there is evidence that the school meets the JCQ guidelines regarding access arrangements.

    * this is not to imply teachers should hold ATS but rather to indicate the competency levels we would expect.

  • The Joint Council for Qualifications guidelines for access arrangements can be downloaded here: Please refer to Chapter 7, paragraph 7.3 of the JCQ booklet‘Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments’ for the current requirements.

  • For the purposes of CReSTeD, a 'teacher' is a person who delivers lessons. If a Learning Support Assistant is charged with delivering lessons (1:1 or groups) then this person will be regarded as a teacher by CReSTeD.