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E801: Action 3.8: HMIE Report

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HMIE (2008) 'Education for Learners with Dyslexia' Inspectorate Report. Scottish Executive, October 2008. Available from: http://www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/publication/eflwd.html [Accessed 5th February 2011]

See also Reid, G. (2009) Dyslexia: a Practitioners Handbook. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, pp.10-12.

Two key areas:

Meeting Learning Needs


  • No records of external training
  • Few records of number of students with Dyslexia
  • Dual language (Gaelic/English)


  • Early assessment
  • Variety of age-appropriate materials
  • Early intervention teacher supporting groups and identifying needs
  • Individual programmes
  • Schools with specialists - children use self-help strategies/confident
  • Information transfer between schools
  • Parents in involved in setting SMART targets
  • Peer tutors in 20 school
  • Identification of practices across school
  • Sharing of good practice
  • Examination differentiation good in independent schools

Areas of development:

  • Communication between staff
  • Inconsistent provision of support/alt. Assessment
  • Few Gaelic speaking psychologists
  • Classwork/homework needs differentiation
  • Awareness of accessibility legislation/responsibilities
  • Varied response in special/secure schools

Specific to Scotland? Own practice?

The first 5 areas for development also apply in my university setting although the language concerns tend to be Chinese rather than Gaelic. Students report that they find it difficult to keep informing staff of their needs every time a new member of staff takes over to give a few lectures on their specialist area. Many academic staff still consider that accessibility is the concern of disability services although they do their best to help students once they are aware of a concern.

Issues arising from discussions with teacher education universities


  • Limited time to address issues
  • Need to be aware of general responsibilities
  • No agreed view on dyslexia
  • Tension between identification for support and labelling
  • No research on PGDE course and impact in schools


  • Use of support for learning specialists
  • Teaching on how to access support for all students
  • Effective collaboration
  • Meeting needs are responsibility of all teachers

Areas of development:

  • Lack of consensus on what dyslexia is
  • Prioritisation of time
  • Evaluation of impact of uni courses on practice

Specific to Scotland? Own practice?

I am not involved with the PGCE courses at the universities where I work and so I am unsure of how they operate. I do know that there is a lack of consensus on whether dyslexia actually exists rather than what it is! I have heard complaints from teachers about their lack of training in how to deal with students with dyslexia but I am not sure about the current situation.

The Way Ahead

'Scottish education has much good and innovative practice in meeting the learning needs of children and young people with dyslexia'

I am not sure that this can be said from this report as some of the areas of development identified are very important to address. For example, the area of teacher training and how there is no research to relate training to practice in schools and whether it is effective. The other areas of development identified such as lack of legislative knowledge, inconsistent provision, lack of differentiation in work and the lack of consensus on what dyslexia is, may all come from this lack of training and so this makes it a major issue. I can see SOME areas of good and innovative practice but I would not agree with the word MUCH.




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