Theo Paphitis and the Farnham-based Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity have launched the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary to provide funding for schools to offer free training to teachers and teaching assistants around the UK.
Phase 1 of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary activity is providing fifty free training spaces for primary and secondary state schools, launching this month as a six-week online ‘Supporting Learners with Dyslexia’ course.
Schools have applied through an online link and with all spaces filled quickly, the second 50 training spaces will be released in spring next year.
TV Dragon, retail entrepreneur and dyslexia champion, Theo Paphitis, said: “Dyslexia has been a huge part of my life and shaped me into who I am, but school and coping with what I now understand to be undiagnosed dyslexia, was tough to deal with.
“To have had access to teachers and TAs who understood how to identify, and more importantly, how to help people like me deal positively with dyslexia would have been a game changer.
“I hope that this Bursary will grow and grow and help many more with dyslexia in education, but also in the workplace going forward.
“That all the teacher spaces were snapped up within the hour shows the need for this bursary and support for those with dyslexia.”
The aim of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary is to particularly support state schools where there are young people from low-income families, by giving them access to the expertise and guidance of Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity regarding the best ways to support young people with dyslexia.
Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity CEO, Andy Cook added: “Helen Arkell’s aim is to remove barriers to learning, employment and life for more and more people with dyslexia, regardless of ability to pay, and we are indebted to Theo Paphitis and Ryman for helping us to achieve this.
“The demand has been high for the online places with a waiting list already in place for the spring training spaces, showing the power of what we can do when we work together and offer the right support in the right places.”
The course comprises six three-hour sessions covering an overview of dyslexia and SpLDs (Specific Learning Difficulties – or learning differences), an introduction to phonological awareness and phonics, learning preferences and multi-sensory teaching, reading accuracy and comprehension, spelling, writing and numeracy.