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.
We are committed to improving outcomes for learners who struggle with literacy and our mission is to ensure every young person accesses the highest quality education which is responsive to their needs. Leading experts in the field of SEND and literacy work to build sustainable outcomes to support not only individual schools but regional clusters in our unique, collaborative approach.
The bespoke support we offer to schools is making a real impact. If you would like your school to participate in Drive for Literacy, please fill out this Interest Form. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DfL is tailor-made to each school. There is no one-size-fits-all. Every school runs differently and is characterised by its staff, students, structure and culture. That means different strengths, different challenges and different goals. So, the audit and action plan, consultancy days and workshops will be responsive to your requirements according to your need.
Secondly, the programme draws on a broad range of expertise both in terms of design and delivery. The DYT team have backgrounds in literacy, SEND, and, primary and secondary school leadership. Over 95% of our workshop attendees since September 2017 were impressed by our team’s expertise. Drawing on the latest research, our evidence-based approach stands on some sturdy legs.
DfL does not aim for short-term solutions, but for sustainable, systemic change.
We recognise that many schools, regardless of the quality of their provision, will sometimes need to review their practice. 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 suite of over 20 unique CPD workshops specific to the needs of schools and their staff. Your DfL consultant will discuss these with you and make recommendations as to which workshops may suit your school’s needs following the DfL Audit. Together we will be highlighting key issues in research, in leadership and in the classroom in a series of lively, participatory workshops that enable practitioners to both deepen their professional knowledge around literacy and SEND and develop their professional networks in a relaxed environment. These workshops are suitable for anyone working in schools, from TAs to teachers and leaders, from KS1 – KS5.
95,7% of workshop participants say that our consultants demonstrated a breadth of knowledge and expertise. Our DfL team consists of experts from across education, including literacy, SEND, leadership, school improvement, governance and psychology.
Your DfL consultant is available for 9 days over one academic year with the aim of supporting your school to build sustainable outcomes. 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.
Consultation days are also likely to include some of the following:
Our DfL 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 over 250 resources to help every part of the educational platform. From electronically adapted to research based resources, resources supporting the identification of literacy difficulties to detailed resources outlining roles and responsibilities in the school. We have everything in one place for you. They can also be used for schools who have not adopted Drive for Literacy.
DfL and its materials have been designed and produced by outstanding teachers and reflect good practice and the latest educational research.
Following successful completion of the programme, the school will be presented with a comprehensive report and review assessing the impact of Drive for Literacy over the academic year.
Our partnership doesn’t have to end there though. Perhaps you would like to work with us again or would love to stay in touch via our mailing list where we will keep you updated with the latest educational news through our newsletter and inform you about opportunities available through our network.
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.