Information for schools

“Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.” (Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years 2014)


Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

  • spldpic4Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed
  • Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities
  • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category and there are no clear cut-off points
  • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organization, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia
  • A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention

(Rose Report 2009)


‘A condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.’ (DfE)


spldpic2A form of developmental coordination disorder (DCD), Dyspraxia is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination, in children and adults. Dyspraxia refers to those people who have additional problems planning, organising and carrying out movements in the right order in everyday situations. Dyspraxia can also affect articulation and speech, perception and thought. (Dyspraxia Foundation)

Those affected by specific learning difficulties often underachieve within the education system unless they receive appropriate support, enabling them to minimise their weaknesses and utilise their strengths. Both the severity of the impairment and the effectiveness of compensatory strategies vary widely.


Foundation Stage: Early signs which may suggest Specific Learning Difficulties

Key Stages 1 and 2: Signs which may suggest Specific Learning Difficulties

Developing Inclusive Classrooms: A booklet for staff

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