Dyslexia in the Education and Criminal Justice Systems

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP hosted a roundtable with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) on Monday the 15th of November 2021 to discuss how the processes of identification, diagnosis and support of dyslexia in educational and custodial settings can be improved. The meeting sought to maximise the political momentum surrounding the forthcoming Prisons White Paper, the Special Educational Needs Review Green Paper and the Literacy and Numeracy White Paper to increase the support given to dyslexic individuals and shift the dial on their aspirations and outcomes.

According to The Equality Act 2010 and subsequent case law, dyslexia and other forms of neurodivergence are classified as disabilities. Whilst the primary focus of this roundtable was dyslexia, it is important to note that much of the discussion can be equally applied to other forms of neurodiversity, such as ADHD, autism, dyspraxia and acquired brain injuries. The discussion primarily explored the role of the education system in supporting dyslexic individuals and the experiences of dyslexic people once they enter the criminal justice system. Notably, pre-court diversion schemes, which prevent involvement in the criminal justice system, were not investigated. The scope of any project going forward should therefore remain under review.

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