North Tyneside Dyslexia Team

Tel: 0191 300 0506

The North Tyneside Dyslexia Team are based at Southlands School.

The Dyslexia Team offers one of the services available through the SEND Local Offer in North Tyneside. To find out about other services please visit the Local Offer website.

Who are we?

  • A team of specialist teachers with post-graduate qualifications and Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) who have been trained to assess and teach children with dyslexia/persistent literacy difficulties
  • We also assess for specific difficulties with numeracy
  • We work in mainstream schools in North Tyneside
  • We provide an advice and consultation service for school staff in special schools.  This includes access to the team’s training workshops and resources to address difficulties with sound awareness, phonics, reading and spelling

What do we provide?

  • Assessments of children referred to us by mainstream schools
  • Written reports and recommendations for schools and parents/carers
  • Structured programmes of work to support children
  • Resources to help schools deliver support programmes
  • Teaching of some children with significant specific difficulties
  • Training for whole schools, groups within schools, individual staff members and other agencies

Current information about Dyslexia

  • Dyslexia is a term which is used to describe persistent problems with phonics, reading accuracy and spelling difficulties resulting from specific underlying difficulties.
  • The Department for Education has adopted a definition of Dyslexia from the 2009 government funded Rose Report. This is quoted by the Dyslexic-Specific Learning Difficulties Trust and viewed at on their resources page in the parents' section.  The trust receives funding from the Department for Education to provide information to schools, parents and teachers and the wider sector.
  • The Dyslexia Team does not provide a formal diagnosis of dyslexia as the team’s role is to identify pupils’ specific difficulties and devise programmes to address these.
  • The team provides advice about ways to address difficulties with sound awareness, phonics, reading and spelling, including strategies for supporting children and young people in class.

How are referrals sent to the Dyslexia Team?

  • Schools send referrals to the Dyslexia Team. Written parental permission is required before children can be referred.
  • The Dyslexia Team’s referral system reflects the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice for schools: children’s needs are identified by schools, additional support is put into place and evaluated. Following this, a referral to the team may be the next step if a child is not making the expected level of progress. This approach helps to identify children with more severe needs who may require specialist help.
  • The team’s specialist assessments begin at the age of 6 years 6 months. Assessments for specific numeracy difficulties begin at the age of 7 years.
  • If the referral indicates that a child may have significant specific difficulties with literacy or numeracy, a specialist teacher from the team will contact school to arrange an assessment.

Reviews of progress

  • Following the initial assessment, parents/carers will be invited by the school to a meeting to discuss the specialist teacher’s findings.
  • We will provide a report and recommendations for a teaching intervention programme to help the child/young person. Some recommendations can be supported through activities at home.
  • Our assessment results show that individualised programmes which are delivered regularly each week are effective in addressing children’s specific literacy or numeracy difficulties. This approach aims to support schools in their efforts to address children’s needs.
  • For some children with significant difficulties with literacy or numeracy, we return to review their progress after 6 months and provide a shorter report and updated recommendations. After this, we are available to provide further advice on request from schools.



  • For a small number of children with significant, persistent needs we may provide time-limited teaching in schools, once a week for one term.  During this time, we work alongside schools staff to provide informal training and develop their knowledge.
  • We also model teaching interventions sessions for pupils on our caseload.  This helps to provide training and support for teaching assistants who deliver our programmes.


What training do we offer?

  • Twilight training sessions for whole schools or groups.
  • Workshops on a variety of themes such as:
    • supporting persistent literacy and maths difficulties
    • developing effective multi-sensory teaching strategies
    • effective phonics teaching for all phases
    • reading and spelling longer words and subject vocabulary
    • spelling choices
  • These workshops are delivered to school staff in all phases across the local authority.

Inclusive Dyslexia Friendly Schools Award

  • We are keen to encourage an inclusive whole school approach which enables all children to learn more effectively.
  • The team has recently written the North Tyneside Inclusive Dyslexia Friendly Schools Award which schools can apply to work towards, in partnership with the team.