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Dyslexia and PGCE/skills tests

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Sunnyday50, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Sunnyday50

    Sunnyday50 New commenter

    Are there any trainee or recently qualified teachers out there who are dyslexic? I posted this in the Trainee Teachers forum, but got no replies so I'm trying in here. I'm posting on behalf of my husband who is hoping to begin a PGCE next year, but he's worried about the skills tests as he is dyslexic and would find the spelling element in particular very difficult to do correctly, especially with limited time. He is also unsure whether training providers make any allowances for dyslexic trainees or offer any support. Can anyone tell us about their experiences?
    As a teacher myself, I think it'd be ludicrous if dyslexic people were not able to train as teachers, but we really don't know what the situation is so we'd appreciate it if anyone can give us any info.
  2. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Yes, there are many teachers who have dyslexia, and good training providers will provide additional support to enable the dyslexic trainee to achieve appropriate evidence of achievement of the Teachers' Standards. I believe that your husband will get extra time in the skills test because of his dyslexia.
    Do be aware that he will need to provide evidence of a diagnosis to access support.
  3. PloddingOn

    PloddingOn New commenter

    I'm dyslexic and did the skills test before Christmas. The pass mark on the test is actually fairly low so you can potentially get all of the spelling section wrong and still pass. I bought "How to Pass the QTS Numeracy and Literacy Skills Tests" (other books available) and worked through it for a couple of months before hand.

    If he has had extra time in tests before you can request 25% extra time in the test if you have proof. I took along a paper from my uni saying what adjustments I had as an undergrad and an ed psych report from when I was about 7.

    Honestly I completed the two tests together in less than an hour. Some of the questions in the English section are ridiculously easy if you are a native English speaker.
    purplecarrot likes this.
  4. Sunnyday50

    Sunnyday50 New commenter

    That's good to hear. He has had a look at some of the practice tests online though, and thinks they would both be a challenge for him (despite generally being very strong at maths). It's good to hear it might still be achievable.
    He has a report from his last dyslexia test, but this is from 6 years ago when he started his degree. I guess he could also get something to say what arrangements were made for him during his degree. Is this likely to be enough for a PGCE provider? And if not, are they likely to be willing to pay for another dyslexia test to be done? His former uni paid for the previous one.
  5. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Way back when I did them you could have extra time. I had two goes at the English one, I only failed the first time because I was in a rush.
  6. PloddingOn

    PloddingOn New commenter

    I'm not sure if just the dyslexia test would be enough but I think you can email the Skills Test people and ask. For his teacher training provider the dyslexia test ought to be enough. But depending on his training route there may be very little that adjustments could do to help. I'm doing a SCITT route so school based with some assignments at uni. For me potentially having lecture slides in advance and no penalty for spelling and grammar are the only adjustments which might be of use.
  7. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    As others have said, the skills test pass level isn't that high. The skills test books are really good and I suggest trainees who are worried use them.

    His existing assessment should be accepted for support with the course.

    What I would say is that teachers are expected to demonstrate accurate written and spoken English. It is one of the teacher standards so he will need to develop/have strategies to ensure hits that standard.
  8. Sunnyday50

    Sunnyday50 New commenter

    That's also been a requirement of all the jobs he's had in the past, and it's never been an issue. His level of spoken and written English is better than an awful lot of teachers I've worked with over the years.
  9. grasshopper2000

    grasshopper2000 Occasional commenter

    I qualified last year and I'm dyslexic. I didn't ask for extra time. I found the tests really hard, but I did manage to pass them the first time. My working memory is really poor and I struggle with remembering times tables despite trying everything to learn them, this made the mental maths paper very tricky, but the other maths paper I found relatively easy. I would say I passed the spelling and reading papers partly due to luck! It's the reading paper I found the hardest as I am an extremely slow reader, mis read a lot and don't take in what I have read, which was definitelythe case on the day so it was definitely partly luck.

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