An article in today’ Independent discusses a ‘groundbreaking project which has extraordinary success in helping hundreds of dyslexic children… Springboard for Children, an education charity which now has the enthusiastic backing of the British Dyslexia Association, has achieved a 90% success rate in returning children with severe literacy problems to mainstream classrooms’.
From the Springboard site, it seems that the undoubted success of the venture depends on a coterie of volunteers supervised by ‘a core of qualified tutors’. The tuition is very likely to be much the same as that which any SfL teacher does – but more intense, long term and concentrated because of the use of free womanpower. The Article describes the use of Stile – a very well used and well established resource, for example. I think we all recognise that with more one to one support, those children ‘failing’ at reading would perform better. I have sympathy with the view that in the early years this sort of focus is helpful – as long as it does not dominate the entire school experience. If I were offered a bunch of enthusiastic and committed volunteers I could certainly use them most effectively!
From the site:
Once on the Springboard for Children programme, the children meet with their tutor twice weekly for a session of around 40 minutes and will receive a rich and varied ‘diet’ of tuition and support. Most receive one-to-one tuition, while others work in small groups…
Springboard uses a core of qualified literacy tutors, and a team of local volunteers which are given training and supervision to ensure each child referred to us receives a very high standard of help.
I was – perhaps unfairly – prejudiced when I read:
Based on Christian values every child, regardless of their faith or background, is treated as an individual, and encouraged and supported to achieve their full potential.
I’m wary of this statement, even as a card carrying Quaker. I hope, expect, that all professionals treat pupils in such a way!
What do you think?