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Dyslexia-friendly schools and parent partnership: inclusion and home-school relationships
University of Exeter
European Journal of Special Needs Education
This paper summarizes an action research project in five local areas in the south-west of England which aimed to support parents of children with dyslexic difficulties who were experiencing problems in obtaining appropriate provision in mainstream schools. It was based on the importance of effective parental partnership and quality inclusive practice for children having dyslexic difficulties. A development officer worked over two years in the five participating LEAs that were selected to represent a range of professional practice with a mix of urban and rural populations. As part of the evaluation, the authors also examined longitudinally the educational experiences of a sample of parents. The paper includes a conceptual framework of parental agency in this field in terms of knowledge, identity and parental strategies, and the conditions under which parents escalate their strategies to secure appropriate provision for their children. The support provided by the development officer is analysed in terms of the kinds of support requests received, the kinds of support offered and qualitative evidence of the impact of this support. This research is theorized in terms of current ideas about parent-partnership and theories about parent-teacher relations in terms of the diversity of parents. It highlights the significance of thinking about inclusive schooling and parent-school relations in terms of the interconnections between general systems for all, for those with special educational needs and those with specific difficulties. The policy and practice implications are interpreted in terms of the importance of a system of extended professionalism, which is inclusive of parents with learning difficulties and disabilities.
The research project this paper summarises was funded by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and the Buttle Trust.
This is a postprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the European Journal of Special Needs Education© 2005 Copyright Taylor & Francis; European Journal of Special Needs Education is available online at http://www.informaworld.com