§ Mr. Beggs
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what changes have taken place in teacher training to ensure that all newly qualified teachers can identify and assist children suffering from dyslexia ;
(2) how many teachers in Northern Ireland have been trained specifically to recognise or to assist children with dyslexia and other special educational needs.
§ Mr. Ancram
Dyslexia can describe a variety of learning difficulties experienced by children. All teachers receive, as part of their initial training, an element designed to enable them to develop the capacity to identify and deal with pupils with learning difficulties. For serving teachers, the education and library boards mount in-service courses with similar objectives, but the numbers involved are not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.