Latest research by Driver Youth Trust shows that despite a government pledge to spend £10 million to train specialist teachers, 75% of headteachers report not having access to one.


The government commissioned Rose Review (2009) recommended the training of 4,000 specialist teachers, one for each cluster of schools in England. Ten years on our research shows that this initiative has failed to provide the specialist skills needed to support those children who most struggle to read and write.


The findings are bleak. At a time when children’s learning has been jeopardized by Covid-19 and national results in literacy point to an exponential growth in the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, schools urgently require the additional expertise these teachers can offer.


Yet less than one in five are employed in state schools. This picture changes significantly across different regions with just 16% of teachers in the North East reporting having access to specialists, which will only be exacerbated by the continuing local lockdown restrictions.  


Whilst there has been some progress to improve children’s literacy in the last decade, that progress is simply not rapid enough to meet the needs of children and progress the government’s levelling up agenda.


“The impact on children with Special Educational Needs and Disability is particularly alarming. These children are those who were significantly lagging behind their peers before school closures and now face a double disadvantage to catch up” – Chris Rossiter, DYT’s CEO.


The recommendations put forward by the Rose Review still hold true. Now is the time to finish what we started and ensure that all children have access to an education that is responsive to their literacy needs.


Notes to editors


About the report

Hide and Seek will be published on 5th October 2020. The full report is available on DYT’s website.


About Driver Youth Trust


Founded my Sarah and Mark Driver, DYT is a charity dedicated to improving the life changes of children and young people who struggle with literacy, particularly dyslexia.


DYT’s mission is to help young people who struggle to read and write by:


  • Working in partnership with teachers and other education professionals to equip them with the knowledge and expertise they need to identify and support learners with literacy difficulties;
  • Campaigning on behalf of young people, teachers and schools so that they have the resources and support they need to succeed.


DYT provides learning and development opportunities for teachers, teaching assistants and school leaders in core and advanced skills needed to better support learners who have literacy difficulties and SEND. Our offer to schools is designed to provide evidence-based classroom practice improvements that enable all learners to access the education that is responsive to their needs. More information is available at driveryouthtrust.com/programmes


Press Contact

Chris Rossiter, Chief Executive