Helping diagnose children with Dyslexia quicker

Philippa Vince has set up Toucan Education to help diagnose children who have Dyslexia.
Philippa Vince has set up Toucan Education to help diagnose children who have Dyslexia.

A specialist teacher is looking to tackle the dyslexia ‘crisis’ in north east schools after quitting her job.

After nearly 20 years working in education, Philippa Vince quit her job to set up Toucan Education.

She aims to help diagnose children within a month after seeing some pupils waiting up to two years to be diagnosed with the learning disability.

Philippa, a member of the British Dyslexia Association, said: “I found in my time working with vulnerable children that there was a need for understanding of dyslexia so I became very specialised and trained in that area.

“There are limited resources and local authorities are struggling. There are small, highly-skilled teams in each authority but cut-backs have meant resources are depleted and there are not enough of them.”

Among those to have received support is mum-of-two Laura Prince, from Whitley Bay, for her daughters Ava, eight, and Freya, six.

She said: “Not only has Philippa succeeded in helping Ava progress significantly, but more importantly, to me as a mum, she has helped developed her self-esteem and self-belief.

“As a family we feel very lucky to have Philippa in our lives. Having a child that is struggling academically and losing their confidence is quite stressful and has had a massive impact on our family over the years.”

To find out more about Toucan head to www.toucaneducation.com or search @ToucanEducation on social media.

Philippa added: “As well as diagnosing Dyslexia, Toucan Education is here to unite schools and families and provide the support, information and care so that everyone is working together to get these children what they need and deserve as soon as they need it.”

According to the British Dyslexia Association, one in 10 people suffer with Dyslexia.

Liz Ferguson, from Dyslexia North East, said: “There are so many children who are not getting the help they need.

“Lack of funds to help dyslexics is a real issue now, and there is an urgent need to provide adequate teacher training about dyslexia related conditions.

“Sometimes their school simply doesn’t have enough staff to cope with their Dyslexia. Schools need more resources to provide the support and help for dyslexics.”

Philippa, who also works with dyslexic adults and manages difficult behaviour in children, has worked with schools across the region and delivered training across Europe since setting up her business in 2016.

In a bid to enable teachers to support dyslexic children more effectively, Philippa has organised a ‘Be That Teacher’ conference, at Jesmond Dene House on December 3.

Internationally-renowned Dyslexia-specialist Neil Mackay, a published author and creator of the Dyslexia Friendly Schools concept, will be guest speaker.

Philippa added: “Ultimately I want to empower teachers to be confident in teaching Dyslexic children and understand that they can make everyday changes to make a massive difference to children in their care.”