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Founder of Sir Linkalot Andy Salmon’s reflections on the Dyslexia Inquiry Session Two: Co-ordination of Care

Dyslexia
AS

Andy Salmon

Founder of Sir Linkalot

Following the deeply insightful second edition to Our Dyslexia Commission Inquiry sessions which focused on the co-ordination of care. We asked panellist and Founder of Sir Linkalot app, Andy Salmon for his reflections on second session.  

Perspectives on Matt Hancock’s opening & Findings of Claire Thomas from the Levels School

Matt Hancock’s personal experience, when passing a bill, is vital as he’ll be able to answer any question. It’s so much more impressive, when fielding tricky questions, to answer right off the bat. It gives the decision-makers confidence that he knows his subject.

I was appalled to hear from Claire Thomas that an EHCP is currently taking 18 months as opposed to the usual four or five. The wheels of the health industry do turn incredibly slowly. Luckily, as Sir Linkalot is a ‘one size fits all’ resource, an EHCP won’t include anything for spelling as a strategy isn’t required. This will save a huge amount of time and cost, e.g., no requirement for ed psych reports.

Integrated Care Systems reflections

Debbie Hicks has clearly got a good thing going on with her Reading Agency; I can see why she got an MBE! The only approach to the most tedious thing on this planet, rote learning, that works is reading as the reader isn’t aware that seeing a word again and again engrains its spelling in their brain. However, getting a child living with dyslexia to read a book is a big ask because it will be seen as a chore not a pleasure; it requires a lot third party input whether it be a teacher, librarian or
peer. A resource that needs no encouragement to use is key.

Christine Franklin is heavily involved with prisons which I applaud. Matt Hancock’s statistic that ”the percentage of prisoners with dyslexia almost correlates with entrepreneurs” is, to me, not a coincidence as the resources for them to read and write don’t exist, until now, of
course! So, they have to survive on their own in life because the gateway to paid employment, an English Language GCSE, is a problem. Sir Linkalot will work brilliantly for them as it covers, not just the DFE’s tricky words, but the other technical parts of literacy: homophones, rules, patterns, etymology, prefixes, punctuation, and grammar.

The strategy behind Sirlinkalot to solve the issues raised in the session

Sir Linkalot is a resource that works for every child, regardless of the way they process information because the decision of how to process it has been done for them, i.e it gives them a way to commit it to memory. All the student needs to do is recall the animation which is a lot easier than remembering the sequencing of the letters in the word ‘through’, for example. This means that being diagnosed with dyslexia isn’t an issue anymore.

In fact, it’s turning a supposed weakness in to a strength. Thinking of links requires you to use your imagination which many children with dyslexia have done as rote learning simply doesn’t work for them. Even though every child has an imagination, a child with dyslexia is very often a seasoned linker though they may not be aware of it.  An all-inclusive resource will eliminate a big chunk of the issues that Claire raised.

Innovative technology reflections

It’s key that resources like Sir Linkalot are introduced to children when they are in Key Stage 1 for two reasons: firstly, the earlier they can spell tricky words like ‘was’, ‘two’ and ‘they’, the better and, secondly, it levels the playing field before they start to lose confidence with anxiety creeping in which tends to happen in Key Stage 2. They become aware, often thanks to their peers, that they aren’t good at spelling.

Getting children screened for dyslexia is only half the battle. We need a solution. The beauty of Sir Linkalot is that no staff training is required: just plug in and play. This saves a fortune as
most resources require reasonably intense training. Dyscalculia will stop becoming an issue as fun ways to learn Times Tables are now on the app with plenty more to come!

Hopes for the future sessions


One thing in the second session that was apparent is there are hardly any solutions out there which is a worry. But fret not, our chivalrous chum and his partner-in-crime, Lady Lexicographer, are here to save the day!

Final Thought:

It was a pleasure to have Andy Salmon as a panellist for the second inquiry session. For the final two sessions, we will seek to explore solutions found within the SEND review, White Paper, and School’s Bill. The fourth session will explore solutions for working age adults living with dyslexia, which will involve case study analysis in the criminal justice system and the employment sector.

To find out more, visit the commission page or contact Policy and Research Analyst Ann-Marie Debrah at annmarie.debrah@chamberuk.com.

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