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Kingston University appoints specialist dyslexia tutor to give expert training to teaching students

Posted Wednesday 14 February 2024

Kingston University appoints specialist dyslexia tutor to give expert training to teaching students Caroline Bateman has been helping support dyslexic students for almost 10 years.

A dyslexia expert has been appointed by Kingston University, as part of a joint project with charity Driver Youth Trust, to give initial teacher training students and partner schools the skills to support pupils who have challenges reading and writing.

Caroline Bateman, who has been helping students who present with dyslexia achieve academically for almost 10 years and has dyslexia herself, has taken up a two-year appointment.

After completing a business degree at the University of Salford, Caroline spent much of her career working in the IT industry before setting up educational consultancy firm Achieve Now to raise attainment for dyslexic children. She first became passionate about supporting people with literacy difficulties after she found out all three of her children had dyslexia and worked with them to turn their academic fortunes around from failing to all receiving impressive qualifications that have set up them to make valuable contributions to society.

In her new role, sponsored by the Driver Youth Trust, Caroline is working with students and staff across the University’s education courses and partner schools to enhance knowledge of the challenges some pupils can encounter with reading and writing.

Under her guidance, trainee teachers are learning how to support children presenting with dyslexia in schools more confidently and effectively. She is also planning a series of training initiatives with partner schools to help raise attainment across all schools and make the curriculum accessible to all learners.

“Many pupils with dyslexia are intellectually gifted but leave school believing they aren’t smart, simply because their strengths may have been overlooked,” Caroline said. “Teachers are in an ideal position to change this situation. If they can recognise and put the necessary support in place early on, these children can thrive academically and won’t experience an otherwise almost inevitable erosion of self-esteem.”

Caroline, who grew up in Liverpool but now lives in Surrey, was first told she could be dyslexic while at university but didn’t receive confirmation until her mid-40s. Having initially used her own experience to help her children, she is fully committed to supporting others.

“The fact Kingston University and the Driver Youth Trust are investing so much to drive improvements led by teachers of the future, as well as helping partner schools to make an immediate impact on children’s lives, makes me proud to be a part of this team,” she said.

Associate Professor Dr Daryl Maisey, who has spearheaded the project with Sarah Driver of the Driver Youth Trust, said Caroline’s expertise would give the University’s teacher training students an added edge as they embarked on their careers. “Caroline Bateman’s appointment will give our students enhanced knowledge and understanding of dyslexia, so they can confidently support every learner to reach their full potential and drive the continuing transformation of inclusion in schools and early years settings,” she said.

The initiative adds to the work being undertaken by the University’s Department of Education to support children with a range of learning needs in the classroom. It already runs a series of popular webinars to educate trainee and locally qualified teachers on ways to work with pupils with ADHD.

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