The Driver Youth Trust is a national charity dedicated to improving the life chances of children and young people, with a focus on those with literacy difficulties and who may have SEND, particularly children with dyslexia. We focus our resources on specific areas where we believe we can make a sizeable and sustainable difference with a view to creating systemic change in how young people who face literacy difficulties are supported in education.
Literacy difficulties impact on life chances well beyond the school years. Crucially learners with literacy difficulties do not access the curriculum and can be excluded from social and economic participation. The established view is that barriers to educational participation are due to individual differences. We believe they are entrenched in structures, processes and attitudes and the following issues contribute to the problem:
Systemic change is needed across the education system. Cohesion between policy and practice must foster a collaborative response to provide a truly inclusive model of education.
1. An embedded culture with an ambitious vision of high expectations for what all learners can achieve and ensures high standards of provision, starting with Quality First Teaching.
2. Leadership with a relentless focus on outcomes and impact for children with SEND that publishes information about the effectiveness of their provision.
3. Collaborations with professionals, including specialists, and local networks, which are used to drive school improvement and enhance the experience of learners.
4. Decision-making that recognises importance of and includes the views of young people and their parents are integral to decision making.
5. Continuing Professional Development that focuses on identifying difficulties and strategies to raise attainment for all learners and promotes the status of teaching by enhancing abilities and self-efficacy.
6. Whole School Approach with systems and processes that are aligned and integrated to deliver the graduated approach.
Our flagship programme, Drive for Literacy (DfL), is a collaboration between policy and practice and is informed by the evidence of our research. It is a whole school model for literacy, built around the Graduated Response and starting from Quality First Teaching. Its aim is to build teacher capability and school capacity to identify and support learners who struggle with reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Drive for Literacy is built around the following three principles:
If you would like your school to participate in Drive for Literacy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drive for Literacy is supported by a digital toolkit. My DfL has a range of resources – free to download and to use – that support schools to achieve the standards within Drive for Literacy. These resources – which focus on supporting literacy for all learners in class, across school, at leadership level and within SEND teams – can also be used for schools who have not adopted Drive for Literacy.
We offer free resources for:
DfL and its materials have been designed and produced by outstanding teachers and reflect good practice and the latest educational research.
The Driver Youth Trust is supporting a number of schools across England to implement the Drive for Literacy model by providing free training and consultancy. If you would like your school to participate in Drive for Literacy or have any questions, email us at email@example.com.
The Drive for Literacy model is now also being developed in secondary schools within the Ark network and will be rolled out to a small cluster of additional schools in 2018. If you would like your school to participate in Drive for Literacy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to know more about supporting strategies, faculties, access arrangements and transition then go to My DfL and download our Secondary Toolkit resources for free.
If you want to know more about Quality First Teaching and the Graduated Approach in secondary education then go to our DfL Secondary Schools page, where we guide you through the three waves of provision for Key Stages 3 and 4.
We commission and publish our own research and campaign for policy change so that all children, including those with dyslexia, get the right support to learn to read and write, so that they can access the curriculum and experience success. Joining the Dots looks at the impact of recent education reforms on pupils with SEND, while Fish in the Tree asks the question ‘Why are we failing children with dyslexia?’ Our latest report, Through the Looking Glass examines the recent reports on literacy that inform the education agenda and asks – is universal provision what it seems? We look at what we mean by literacy, by being ‘disadvantaged’ and ask where those learners with SEND, most of them in mainstream school settings, fit into the picture. Are the conventional assumptions accurate, or is the ‘Looking Glass’ world very different?
Policy plays an important and growing role for the Driver Youth Trust. Intense reforms have taken place in the education system in the last five years which have had profound implications for learners with special educational needs and disability. As the new government’s education agenda begins to take shape, with the promise of further radical change, we want to ensure that learners with literacy difficulties, including dyslexia, are not excluded from the current policy agenda.
Therefore, through our advocacy remit we strive to drive our policy agenda, working to influence a wide range of key stakeholders such as central and local government, its agencies, teacher organisations and many others. We do so through a variety of different means, working collaboratively across the sector to ensure a relentless focus on how public policy decision making can impact on the life chances of learners with literacy difficulties.
We work in partnership with other organisations to help children to access education, build their confidence and realise their goals.