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"Reinstate allowances regarding spelling for pupils with dyslexia."

This is a letter written to Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP by a Key Stage 2 child which we think says it all!

Dear Ms Morgan, 

I am an 11 year old Year 6 child who has been told that he has to sit SATS tests in May. I have loved learning since before I could talk and my teachers have taught me so much. 

Since September I have not enjoyed being at school. I love my teacher and I know she is doing her best for me, but suddenly everything feels like a memory test. I am dyslexic and I can’t remember all the rules of grammar, but I love to write. I have read some extraordinary books: The Hobbit when I was seven years old and Harry Potter of course and I love to discuss the books I’m reading with friends and family, but when I’m faced with a comprehension test my brain gets scrambled and I think that anyone reading my work would probably think that I haven’t a clue. 

Ask me to draw and I can show you I’m extraordinary. 

Take the time to read my essays and stories and see that I’m creative. 

Witness me making a meal or building a dolls’ house and be aware of my inventiveness, capability and creativity. 

Ask me to remember a list of spellings, answer a comprehension test or write a piece of text which ticks all your boxes and I will show you that I am Dyslexic. However, you don’t have a test for people who are gifted and happen to be dyslexic and therefore I will be one of your ‘poor’ statistics. 

You think I should do your assessments because you want your scores. I am resisting because I do not wish to perpetuate the myth that people who happen to be dyslexic are ‘less’ than those who are not. 

I ask you to read this list of gifted people who happened to be dyslexic and tell me exactly why I should do a test that I cannot possibly pass. 

Richard Branson
Leonardo da Vinci
Andy Warhol
Violinist, Nigel Kennedy
Steve Redgrave
John Kennedy
George Washington
Henry Ford
William Hewlett
Agatha Christie
Walt Disney
Stephen Spielberg 

They would ALL have FAILED THEIR SATS. 

What exactly are the SATS measuring and what do you hope to gain by my sitting them? 

I look forward to hearing from you, 

Yours sincerely,

And please read on to hear from our trustee Charles Eve...

30 seconds of your time:

Would you laugh at a Paralympic sprinter trying to run with his running blades removed? It would be a inappropriate yes?

How about a dyslexic trying to spell with their spellcheck assistive technology removed? Funny?

Thousands of dyslexic children will be marked as failures under the UK government’s controversial new primary writing assessments. Pupils will be expected to spell almost 200 words on government wordlists if they are to reach the “expected standard” for writing at the end of Year 6.

No allowance will be made for the tens of thousands of pupils with dyslexia and they will be denied common place assistive technology. 

I am dyslexic and I can't spell. I have looked at the Government 200 word list and I could not confidently spell over 1/2 of them. Nor would other dyslexics like Albert Einstein, Leonardo Di Vinci,  Winston Churchill, John Lennon, Stephen Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Tom Cruise, Sir Richard Branson, I could go on... Sadly We will never be able to spell as you can't 'cure' dyslexia you just work around it. The great news is I get to use simple technology that neutralises my dyslexia and means I can send this email without feeling a failure.

Please take 30 seconds and sign the petition (link below). It is already over 10,000 which requires a government response but our aim is to get over well over 100,000

Don't judge a fish by how well it can climb a tree. (and Monkeys can't swim!)

Thank you
Charles Eve
Trustee of Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre

(Written with spellcheck)

The Government has responded to the petition - read the response!

Please support the petition to reinstate allowances for spelling for pupils with dyslexia. It needs your signature!

Follow this link to read more and sign the petition:

Deadline 14 September 2016

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