A toolkit for the identification and support
of learners exhibiting literacy difficulties

Supporting Learners and Families

Effective Communication

Effective communication, respect and partnership working are key requirements between schools and families. They are essential in supporting appropriate and effective identification, planning and monitoring of literacy difficulties and dyslexia.

The first sign that a child/young person is experiencing difficulties with literacy or showing indications of dyslexia may arise from school staff, parents/carers or the young person.  The ongoing process of identifying and supporting the needs of the learners should be clearly communicated to everyone involved.

Effective Communication School Learner and Parents ADT
Effective Communication School Learner and Parents ADT


It is important that:

  • Parents and carers feel that they are being listened to and their views are valued.
  • Parents and carers are informed of all the support their child receives. This will reduce perceptions that no supports are in place as they are often discreet and the learner may not be fully aware of the additional support they are receiving.
  • Parents and carers are provided with information on what assessment and support means within the ‘needs led’ Scottish educational context - the ‘label’ of dyslexia is not in itself required in order for resources or support to be made available for learners. Equally, the label of dyslexia can be very valuable to the learner and their family in terms of the learner’s sense of self and understanding from others.
  • Local authority staged levels of intervention are followed and information on the process is made available to the parents and carers.
  • Effective consultation takes place with parents and the young person, and if the young person is old enough to understand what is happening, participation in meetings.


Examples of Good Practice – Parental Engagement


This short film shows the importance of effective communication between parents and schools.

Some schools and local authorities have established parental engagement/working groups to support the development of and improve effective partnership working to:

  • Improve the educational experiences, achievements and outcomes for learners with dyslexia
  • Share experiences from different perspectives e.g. parents, learners, staff
  • Improve school communities’ understanding of dyslexia and inclusive practice.  

GIRFEC is the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people.  It supports them and their parent(s)/carers to work in partnership with school and the services that can help them.

GIRFEC reflects a determination to make sure every young person is safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included. The initiative aims to ensure that employees in all the agencies involved in children's lives work together in children's best interests and share information appropriately to ensure the children's needs are met. Information about this can be found here.