Liz joined Julia and became the joint Head Teacher of the specialist school for children with dyslexia and other associated learning difficulties for 6 years.
Liz and Julia started Dyslexia Matters® in 2010 to train teachers to become Specialist Teachers in the field of Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia). They have delivered disability awareness training to charities, businesses and public services as well as providing assessments for both children and adults.
Liz and Julia’s personal, real-world experience of dyslexia, combined with their training and professional experience have given them a special understanding of the needs of people with dyslexia. As a result, they are especially qualified to give high-quality practical advice and support to people with dyslexia, their parents and employers and to the teachers they train.
As Julia has dyslexia herself, and is the mother of children with dyslexia, she has hands-on experience of the challenges that people with dyslexia face.
She has had a varied career, as a SENDCo, a Head of a mainstream school, and then the founding Head of a school for children with dyslexia, before becoming a director of Dyslexia Matters ltd which was set up in 2010 to deliver specialist teacher training. She has worked with families of pupils with dyslexia and complex needs, supporting them in preparing for, and attending tribunals to secure funding from local authorities and has delivered dyslexia training both nationally and internationally.
Julia’s latest research and training into the field of coaching and motivation has uniquely expanded her expertise, which has led to her co-founding Cambridge Coaching Ltd.
Julia is a great role model for what can be achieved even when you have a learning difference.
It was Liz’s experience of growing up with a brother with severe learning difficulties that led her into working with people with learning differences.
Liz first trained to become a teacher of learners with severe learning difficulties and later specialised in dyslexia and specific learning difficulties. She worked as a specialist tutor in school settings for over 15 years before becoming the joint Head Teacher of a school for children with dyslexia, then going on to form Dyslexia Matters with Julia to share their expertise with others.
Liz and Julia have delivered disability awareness training to charities, businesses and public services as well as providing assessments for both children and adults.
I began my journey with Dyslexia Matters many years ago when I enrolled on the Level 5 course. Working as a SENCo in a primary school meant that I encountered children with specific learning difficulties on a regular basis and I wanted to understand how I could support them more effectively. My enthusiasm was fired and I went on to complete Level 7. Afterwards I worked as a specialist teacher and assessor for Dyslexia Action, which I view very much as my apprenticeship in the field of specific learning difficulties. I am a tutor for the Level 5 and Level 7 courses for Dyslexia Matters, as well as a presenter for the Level 7, which I really enjoy. I still love the assessing side of my job as I am always curious to get to the bottom of what is causing a learner’s difficulties. I don’t think you ever stop learning, and I believe that is why I am happy in my job because every day I seem to encounter another learning opportunity and become all the wiser for it.
I’m Lynn and I work as lecturer and tutor on SpLD courses, as well as being an independent Dyslexia Specialist carrying out full diagnostic assessments and exams arrangements. I have an MA in SpLD and am currently working towards my Doctorate in Education. In my spare time I like to play the piano and pamper my house rabbit, Bubbles!
I began my journey with Dyslexia Matters when I started my level 5 training. I had been teaching for 30 years in a variety of environments and working with all ages from the Military, teaching adults, to Early Years, in a Montessori School. It was while working in a Montessori Primary School I decided that I needed yet more training. My son, who had been in a Montessori environment since birth just wasn’t making the progress in spelling I expected, considering his brilliant start. We now know he is dyslexic and I am dyspraxic! I needed to know what more I could do, when the Montessori approach; which is hands on, Multisensory, cumulative and individual to every learner, just doesn’t seem to work! Having completed my level 5, I added SENCo and Specialist Teacher to my list of responsibilities within the school. With this new vision I found that so many of the pupils had learning difficulties and not all brains worked like mine! So I decided to brave it and embark on the level 7 course. My final step was to join the Dyslexia Matters team as a tutor/assessor. I now also work freelance teaching and assessing. I love all aspects of my working life and being so varied, I consider myself a lifelong learner as I gain something new every day.
I first became interested in dyslexia when I was working as a secondary English teacher and wanted to understand how I could provide the best support for students with literacy difficulties. I took a Level Three Introduction to Dyslexia and my interest only grew, leading me to complete my MA in Specific Learning Difficulties and qualify as a specialist teacher and assessor. I have worked in a mainstream secondary school and sixth form, a Pupil Referral Unit and a centre for students with speech, language and communication difficulties. I am also CertTesol qualified and have taught English as a foreign language.
I love learning more about how to support students with SpLD and I believe it continues to improve my teaching practice for all students. My MA dissertation investigated teachers’ understanding of dyslexia, and I am passionate about supporting as many teachers as possible to develop their understanding of this area to ensure that all children are supported to reach their full potential.
Alongside my work as a tutor and assessor for Dyslexia Matters, I work as a travelling freelance SpLD teacher and assessor conducting diagnostic assessments and assessments for Access Arrangements.
Having studied for the B Ed (Hons), my teaching career commenced in June 2000 and I taught in mainstream schools for 14 years, four of those years of which I held the position of SENCO.
The role of SENCO highlighted how we have a different way of learning. This prompted me to explore how to address different styles of learning. This was something that I very much wanted to pursue, to make a difference, finding the correct learning pathway and ensuring that every student succeeds in what they do. It was at this point that studied to become a Specialist Teacher.
I hold Level 7 Professional Certificate in Structured Teaching Intervention for Dyslexia and Literacy. I teach Maths and English to both children and adults with a range of Sp LD. I have supported university students on a 1:1 basis helping them to develop reading skills, note taking, time management and coping strategies. I also support adults in the workplace. Following a Workplace Needs Assessment, I design a bespoke programme targeting areas raised which involve teaching coping strategies and assistive technology.
I have a real passion to help, support and train Specialist teachers of tomorrow and to continue to help those overcome barriers to learning.
I am Maureen and I have been supporting children with SpLDs and general literacy difficulties for the last sixteen years in small intervention groups, one-to-one and in the classroom. My interest in this area started when I began working in schools; a career change prompted by having my daughter later in life. I encountered many children who were very able, yet unable to read, write or spell easily. I was surprised to find that there were no explicit support strategies and encountered a lack of knowledge about dyslexia at every level of the school.
I realised that if I was to help learners more effectively, then I would need to undertake further training. As a result of gaining Level 5 and Level 7 qualifications with the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), I am now able to help children in a much more targeted way and also advise teaching staff in techniques for maximising their learning. I currently divide my time between school and independent tutor/assessor work. I am currently working on upgrading my qualifications to an MA with the University of Chester.
Supporting dyslexia and literacy difficulties is also a personal mission for me. I feel an especial affinity to learners who lack self-esteem and confidence in their abilities, an issue which I find in many dyslexics and which I suffered from myself at school. I am delighted to be part of the Dyslexia Matters tutoring team, supporting professionals on their own Level 5 training.
I first became aware of dyslexia at an early age as dyslexia was in the male side of my family. My interest then increased as I went into teaching. As a Sixth form teacher of Health & Social Care, I frequently came across students who displayed dyslexia or processing tendencies. I would send them to the Senco for a Dyslexia Screener. When it was confirmed that they displayed some traits of dyslexia, there was a great sigh of relief for the students, but also disappointment as they expressed how they had struggled all the way through school undiagnosed, not understanding why they found academic work so difficult.
I completed my Level 7 and am now a qualified tutor and assessor, and experience first-hand the difference specialist dyslexia teaching makes to the students.
My passion for supporting learners with literacy difficulties developed whilst working as a Class Teacher in Primary schools. I wanted to enhance the provision on offer to my pupils, so I embarked upon a Level 7 Post Graduate course at Oxford Brookes University, ‘Working with Children with Literacy Difficulties’. The course increased my knowledge and equipped me with the skills to assess, diagnose and teach children with Specific Learning Difficulties thus enabling me to gain Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA).
Currently, in addition to carrying out private assessments and delivering tuition as a Specialist Teacher and Assessor, I am the SENDCo at an all-through independent school. I am a great believer in lifelong learning which has led me to get involved with my local Patoss group and, as a committee member and co-secretary, I enjoy helping to shape the CPD opportunities on offer to other professionals. I immensely enjoy the work that I do, and I feel very fortunate to be in a position to use my experience to guide and support others in breaking down barriers for the learners they work with.