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Official recognition of dyslexia by the Ministry of Education - 19 April, 2007
Hon Steve Maharey with DFNZ Trustees: Guy Pope-Mayell, Suzanne Pope-Mayell & Lorna Timms

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"A spokesperson for Education Minister Chris Carter said dyslexia was officially recognised only last year. Since then, several initiatives had been put in place as part of a literacy programme.

Details of further plans specific to dyslexic students would be announced next week as part of Dyslexia Awareness Week, he said"

The Christchurch Press - June 16 - full article click here

Government challenged to front up with dyslexia-specific funding - click here for full media release

>> 17 June, 2008 - Listen to Guy Pope-Mayell (DFNZ Trustee )discuss
       "Dyslexia in New Zealand". Click Here

>> 19 June, 2008 - Dyslexia group can't get excited over Carter offer. Click Here

>> 19 June, 2008 - Dismay at level of dyslexic help. Click Here

>> 19 June, 2008 - Parents Centres Calls On Government To Act On Dyslexia. Click Here

Dyslexia Work Programme

The Foundation met with the Minister of Education, Hon. Chris Carter and representatives from the Ministry on 14 May.

During this meeting, the Foundation put its case forward for creating a dyslexia work programme that will drive real change for the 70,000 New Zealand children affected by dyslexia-related learning disabilities. The programme stems from the commitment made by the Minister in November 2007 to fund a Ministry of Education work programme related to dyslexia.

The work programme proposed and positively received at the May meeting includes three important elements:

1. The support of RTLBs and RTLits into a front line, lead role through:
        a. A professional development programme
        b. Providing them with resources as necessary including but not limited to the wide
           distribution of the existing dyslexia brochure "Breaking down the Barriers" and the soon to
           be released Dyslexia Resource for Teachers to all schools

2. Ensuring that teacher training includes dyslexia modules sufficient to prepare first year teachers’ for dealing with dyslexic students

3. The Implementation of a Dyslexia Research and Development initiative to explore best practice related to classroom and school  dyslexia assessment and interventions.

The Minister made a commitment to liaise with the Ministry and report back to us on items 1 and 3, and has since provided details to advance the second item in regard to teacher training.

For details of Teacher Training progress click here

My job: Resource teacher - learning and behaviour click here

At a meeting between the Ministry of Education and the DFNZ valuable discussions were had about how the Ministry’s work program was developing and what specifically had been achieved to date.

Milestones included:

1. The publication of a booklet for parents and schools. This, and other resources, are available on line at click here.

dyslexia nz Schools have received and have access to hard copies of this.

2. The publication of a set of Literacy Learning Progressions that show parents and teachers what literacy progress looks like at specific stages from entry to school through Year 10. This is available at click here.

dyslexia nz All teachers have received copies of this.

3. Communication over the last few months to the MOE Literacy Professional Network about dyslexia and the approach being taken.

Additionally, considerable thought has been given to further communication strategies, professional development, and how special education might support dyslexic students more fully.

Guy Pope-Mayell Chair of Trustees Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand

The Trustee’s of the Dyslexia Foundation met with the new Minister of Education, Hon Chris Carter on Nov 19. They were joined by key Ministry of Education staff.

Discussions about the Ministry’s dyslexia work program were followed by an assurance from the Minister that the work program would be funded.

Discussions about “Professional Development”, or how best to increase understanding among classroom teachers and support professionals, led to further meetings being set down for December and the early part of 2008.

Ministry of Education starts dyslexia work programme…

Dyslexia Foundation pleased with progress made by Ministry…

To read full releases…click here.

The Trustees are very pleased to advise that significant and meaningful progress has been made by the Ministry of Education regarding to the development of initiatives to support dyslexic students in the education system.

With the completion of the “Literature Review :An International Perspective on Dyslexia” document and a working definition of Dyslexia a solid foundation has been created.

This foundation has already led to a work program which includes the following initiatives:

  1. Commitment to identifying dyslexia early.
  2. Developing early intervention and assessment tools.
  3. Professional development for teachers.
  4. Material for parents to develop more understanding about dyslexia.
  5. Dedicated online website resources for teachers and parents to provide information and links to further expertise about dyslexia.

What is now crucial is that these initiatives are supported and embraced by all. Schools will hopefully start to factor the Ministry’s direction into their planning for 2008 and from this we will see real change for our children. Parents should be encouraged and feel empowered to discuss their child’s learning needs with teachers. The next critical step is for Government to provide the necessary funding. We anticipate an announcement regarding this in December consistent with the commitment the Minister of Education made in April on TVNZ Close Up.

In a meeting on April 18 with the Dyslexia Foundation of NZ, the Hon. Steve Maharey advised that the Ministry of Education would "begin a process of consultation and further research into dyslexia with a view to implementing initiatives throughout the education system to provide better support for dyslexic students". A joint Media Release dated 29 April, 2007 “Dyslexia Foundation and Education Ministry plan next steps” outlines the timeline for this process.

The essential time-line is:

- May 4 - 25: Submissions received from DFNZ Members, educations stakeholders and others.

- Late May: Initial planning meeting with the Ministry of Education

- June - Nov: Further meetings with DFNZ, the Ministry, stakeholders and others.
                   Interim announcements regarding progress with initiatives for schools.

- December 2007: Announcement of outcomes and initiatives, including funding allocations.

- 2008: Implementation of education Initatives.

"From our meeting with the Minister I do have confidence that he is well intentioned. If, however, the Ministers objective (of recognising dyslexia) was to make the issue go away he got it very wrong. The announcement last week has fanned the fires and we have been inundated with email and calls of support. Membership has doubled and schools and teachers are the loudest voice wanting to see real change in the classroom."
Guy Pope-Mayell, April 2007

"To see the Ministry of Education stepping up to the challenge is enormously satisfying. They have embraced Dyslexia as a significant learning difference rather than a disability and by doing so they have turned a problem into an opportunity.

Their work to date has set a strong foundation that schools and parents can use as a powerful springboard.

Their approach empowers schools to include dyslexic students in the educational transformation that is underway and critical if New Zealand is to adapt to the knowledge age and equip our children with the skills necessary to be successful in the 21st Century.

By embracing the opportunities of meeting dyslexic students learning needs, a catalyst that encourages teachers to evolve their approach to teaching and learning is made available. When schools and teachers make the simple changes that are necessary all students will benefit."
Guy Pope-Mayell, 10 October 2007


 Media Releases:

   - 17 October, 2007 - Australian moves to label dyslexia a disability miss’s point. Click Here

   - 10 October, 2007 - DFNZ pleased with progress made by Ministry of Education. Click Here

   - 10 October, 2007 - MOE starts dyslexia work programme. Click Here

   - 29 April, 2007 - Dyslexia Foundation and Education Ministry plan next steps. Click Here

   - 19 April, 2007 - Dyslexia Foundation celebrating Ministry of Education recognition of dyslexia.
     Click Here

   - 19 April, 2007 - Ministry improves understanding of dyslexia. Click Here

 Recent Related Media:

   - 21 January, 2008 - Education Weekly- Dyslexia resource helps parents. Click Here

   - 31 December, 2007 - Parent & School Today - Recognition pleases Dyslexia Foundation.
      Click Here

   - 01 December, 2007 - The Press - Age of dys-order. Click Here

   - 01 December, 2007 - Nelson Mail - Seeing the big picture. Click Here

   - 13 October, 2007 - The Press - Funds urged for dyslexic resources. Click Here

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