Dyslexic kids not happy with Government response to inquiry
Teenagers with dyslexia who spoke before a select committee in a bid to make change are furious and let down by the Government's response to the inquiry.
Sparked by Green MP Catherine Delahunty, the report from the inquiry into dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism education, began in 2015. During submissions 20 Kapiti students spoke, highlighting the difficulties they had faced, and asking for change.
Kapiti College student George Stuart was one student who made a submission.
The 15-year-old was disappointed with the Government's response to the report's 46 recommendations, and felt students had not been listened to properly.
The teen wanted faster action.
"We all thought going into Parliament there would be an immediate response, but now they're delaying it and delaying it for even longer, making us feel quite let down and furious."
Students told the committee there needed to be action, not more research, or questions.
"We know younger kids like us who are going through this, thousand and thousands of kids around the country are dealing with this."
Kiaya McLuckie, also now 15, said she wanted to see a change in how students were treated. She felt not all teachers knew how to teach dyslexic students, and had wanted to see earlier testing put in place.
She wanted faster action too. "They need to get a move on need to fix as much as they can."
The students' teacher Sarah Sharpe said there would be disappointment among parents, students and experts in the area that the report did not recommend direct funding or specify timelines for the ministry.
There needed to be compulsory initial training for teachers in dyslexia, and other associated learning differences, and more training for current teachers.
There was "looseness" around the inquiry's recommendations, as there was no set time for the ministry to act within.
Delahunty, who initiated the inquiry, said the Government's response was very disappointing.
"They've accepted the recommendations in theory ... but there's an absolute lack of rigour and urgency in their response."
Delahunty had talked to some parents who were quite angry, and wondering what their redress was, having already told their stories.
Education Minister Hekia Parata said the ministry would explore options for achieving earlier identification and assessment for learning needs typically associated with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ASD.
The Government had accepted 45 out of 46 of the select committee recommendations, and already recognised things had to change.
It had not accepted a recommendation for every school with more than 200 students to have a special education needs coordinator (SENCO), because coordinators were employed by school boards using a variety of funds available to the school. Not all schools choose to have SENCOs.
Both the minister and the ministry were committed to improving support for all students with additional learning needs.