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Lichfield dyslexia expert backs plan for reading MOT for six-year-olds

A Lichfield dyslexia expert has welcomed plans to introduce a ‘reading MOT’ at the age of six – and believes it will help to identify literacy problems at a much younger age.

Dr Daryl Brown, head teacher of Maple Hayes Dyslexia School in Lichfield, has hailed the announcement by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove.

He explained:

“The new test will check if children are decoding the English language, with a focus on systematic synthetic phonics. If a child is not making progress with phonics, it could point to a Special Educational Need such as dyslexia.

“To have this flagged at age six is a hugely positive step, as the earlier a specialist intervention is introduced the more effective it is in helping tackle the issue. If dyslexia is correctly identified at primary school age, a child has a much better chance of achieving a reasonable standard of literacy rather than being limited to a simplistic vocabulary.

“What teachers do need to remember however is that a child with dyslexia is simply unable to grasp systematic synthetic phonics. Trying to persist with this method will doom dyslexics to grinding away at an infantile vocabulary of phonically regular words. Instead they should consider alternative methods, tailoring teaching to the ability of the child.”

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