Training for teachers and teaching assistants in the UK

Training for teachers and
teaching assistants in the UK
Dr. Kate Saunders
British Dyslexia Association
British Dyslexia Association
• 40 years
• 2009, Rose Review. English government
funded 3,600 teachers on BDA accredited
• Highest level dyslexia specialist teachers can
now diagnose dyslexia.
• There are several different levels of training
that end in a different qualification
• For Teachers –
– Associate Member of British Dyslexia Association
– Accredited Teacher Status (ATS)
• For non Qualified Teachers
– Accredited Practitioner Status (APS)
• For teaching assistants
– Accredited Learning Support Assistant (ALSA)
• Other professionals with appropriate
professional qualifications and experience can
also study/apply for ATS/AMBDA.
– speech and language therapists
– occupational therapists
– educational psychologists
– other psychologists
They must show they have covered the same range
of criteria.
(Associate Member of the BDA)
• This is a diploma and is the highest level
• Requirements:
– Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for 2 years
– 2 years teaching experience
– satisfactory completion of accredited course no
more than 5 years before applying
• AMBDA FE/HE for those whose experience is
post 16
• AMBDA Individual Merit
• This qualifies a teacher to:
– Teach pupils with dyslexia (classroom or 1:1)
– Support Mentor and coach colleagues in day to
day teaching of dyslexic pupils
– Carry out diagnostic assessments for
– Suggest provision of special arrangements for
pupils e.g exam concessions. Can apply for
Assessment Practising Certificates - required for
HE assessments.
ATS (Approved Teacher Status)
/ APS (Approved Practitioner
• This is a certificate and is the 2nd highest level
• Requirements ATS
– QTS for 2 years, 2 years experience teaching,
accredited course
– The accredited course is shorter
• Requirements APS
– Same as ATS but no QTS needed
• Qualified to assess (but not IQ) for setting
teaching programmes, teach, coach and
mentor colleagues and assess for exam
conditions (school level, not HE)
• Can not diagnose
ALSA (Accredited Learning
Support Assistant)
• A training course for support workers
• Trains to facilitate effectively the learning of
pupils with specific learning difficulties
• Enhances the supportive role. Doesn’t mean
assistant should function independently.
Ideally supervised by dyslexia specialist
teacher who sets the teaching programme,
monitors progress etc.
• The BDA stresses the importance of the
practical content of specialist training courses.
• We strongly advocate a structured,
sequential, multisensory approach for
reading, writing, spelling and numeracy
• The BDA has set criteria for AMBDA, ATS/APS
and ALSA courses. These are on the BDA
• Course providers write courses to meet these
criteria and then apply for BDA accreditation
of the course.
• The courses is validated by a University or
• ATS and AMBDA courses are postgraduate
BDA Accreditation Board
• Experts in Dyslexia from across the UK
• For many years BDA has accredited some
courses abroad and this is now carried out by
a committee from the BDA Accreditation
The BDA International Accreditation Board.
Courses ATS/APS
ATS and APS course should provide
• An understanding of the nature of dyslexia
• Knowledge of teaching good practice
• Ability to identify learner with dyslexia/SpLD
• Ability to make assessment appraisals for
setting teaching programmes, including
information from observation and reports
from professionals
• Create and evaluate teaching programmes to
meet specific learning needs
Courses ATS/APS
The course must involve:
• 40 hours of lectures plus seminars, tutorials
and study time
• 20 hours evaluated specialist
teaching/support (10 hours must be with the
same child)
• 1 hour teaching/support observed and
assessed by AMBDA tutor
• Students keeping up-to date with research
and to be able to review and evaluate it
Course AMBDA
AMBDA course should provide all in ATS/APS course
• An understanding and critical appraisal: current
research, theory and practice of psychometrics and
its relationship to assessment
• Ability to prepare and disseminate technical reports
including provision of advice and recommendations
to meet specific purposes
• Ability to diagnose dyslexia
• Ability to design, produce, deliver and critically
evaluate appropriate programmes for assessed
needs of dyslexic pupils
Course AMBDA
• The course must involve:
• 90 hours of lectures, seminars and guided
learning plus study time
• 30 hours of evaluated specialist teaching (12
hours must be with same pupil)
• 3 hours of teaching observed by AMBDA tutor
• 3 diagnostic assessment reports from 3
different assessments under supervision ( 1
hour under supervision of AMBDA tutor)
Course ALSA
ALSA course should provide:
• awareness of theories of teaching and learning for
• knowledge and understanding of how SpLDs are
manifested in the classroom
• ability to employ a range of approaches and
resources suitable for the support
• ability to select and/or construct suitable materials
• ability to record and report pupils' response to
Course ALSA
This course must include:
• 24 hours of lectures and seminars (BDA
recommends at least 30 hours) plus private
• 20 hours recorded support time.
• We also provide many one day training courses
Practical Solutions for Dyslexia
Practical Solutions Plus
Screening for Dyslexia
Dealing with Dyscalculia
Dyscalculia Plus
• Some can be put together for a lower level
qualification in Dyslexia Awareness, Support and
• 500 a year
• Bespoke INSET and training – in UK and abroad
• Bespoke INSET and training – in UK and

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