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.
Drive for Literacy is iterative and relational. Iterative professional development and learning emphasises a step-by-step process which includes feedback delivered by experienced specialist teachers. Feedback, delivered in the form of observations and modelling practice enables teaching staff to continually refine professional learning based on experience. The programme’s relational nature emphasises the importance of a school’s context within its local community, how that school engages with stakeholders (such as parents), the organisational and professional networks it is part of and the nature and operation of the school’s leadership.
The model seeks to create coherency within schools, under six standards, of the literacy provision for SEND pupils. Coherency, over consistency, to the model will help ensure DfL is responsive to the needs of schools in an evolving political landscape.
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.
Leadership with a relentless focus on outcomes and impact for children with SEND that publishes information about the effectiveness of their provision.
Collaborations with professionals, including specialists, and local networks, which are used to drive school improvement and enhance the experience of learners.
Decision-making that recognises importance of and includes the views of young people and their parents are integral to decision making.
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.
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 Approach 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.
DfL and its materials have been designed and produced by outstanding teachers and reflect good and inclusive practice, the latest educational research and is built around the following three principles:
The Driver Youth Trust is now supporting over 20 primary and secondary schools in four clusters across England to implement the Drive for Literacy model by providing training and consultancy alongside the universal and premium toolkit.
More information about these schools is available in our DfL School Profiles.
The cost of service for the full 2017/2018 Drive for Literacy Programme will be £1,000, which includes an 80% discount from the original cost of £5,000. The service will be provided over a period of four terms.
If you would like your school to participate in Drive for Literacy or have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recognise that many schools, regardless of the quality of their provision, will sometimes need to review their practice. We use tools, including the London Leadership Strategy’s SEND Review, to undertake audits and provide detailed and practical advice to schools.
Using our expertise, a DfL Consultant will discuss your practice and triangulate this with a range of data sources*, in order to ensure a bespoke and realistic action plan from which to support your school improvement. This process is followed up with a meeting for feedback and planning next steps.
*Data sources are likely to include: Self Evaluation Form (SEF), RAISEonline/RAISEonline replacement service, current Ofsted report, school progress data, provision map, relevant policies, staff performance management data, learner information e.g. IEPs/pupil passports and parents’ views.
Driver Youth Trust have developed a number of workshops in each subject area targeted at different staff groups for different purposes. Your DfL consultant will discuss these with you and make recommendations as to which workshops may suit your school’s need following the DfL audit. Your school can chose up to six bespoke workshops for your teachers and TAs, based on the following topics:
Your DfL consultant is available for 9 days over one academic year with the aim of supporting your school to achieve the DfL Standards. The DfL Consultant will employ a range of methods and undertake varied activities towards this aim, guided by discussions with the school’s allocated DfL Lead.
Activities such as learning walks are likely to be a feature of most consultation days in order to gather information about progress towards DfL Standards and the agreed Action Plan, as well as informing upcoming workshops, which will be carefully tailored to school’s requirements. Consultation days are also likely to include some of the following:
Drive for Literacy is supported by two digital toolkits.
Universal DfL Toolkit
Our free DfL Universal Toolkit provides a range of resources that support schools to achieve the highest standards within Drive for Literacy. With our free to download and easy to use resources found on the Driver Youth trust website, we have resources to help every part of the educational platform. From students in the class to teachers, from parents to the leadership spine in the school to SEND teams. We have everything in one place to help every part of the childs life. They can also be used for schools who have not adopted Drive for Literacy. And the best part it’s all free and waiting for you to download.
Premium DfL Toolkit
It goes without saying, our Premium toolkit contains more content than the Universal DfL toolkit. Primarily aimed at specialists, such as SENCos and Literacy Leads it also includes content that can be passed onto other members of the teaching staff. From electronically adapted resources to research based resources, resources supporting the identification of literacy difficulties to detailed resources outlining roles and responsibilities, and so much more. Driver Youth Trust has you covered in one place with the Premium DfL Toolkit.
DfL and its materials have been designed and produced by outstanding teachers and reflect good practice and the latest educational research.
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.