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New Zealand’s current education system is failing all our children, not just our dyslexic children. Our declining literacy rates reflect that. But fortunately, change is happening. Across New Zealand, school leaders and teachers are upskilling in the Science of Reading and passionately implementing Structured Literacy in their schools. This groundswell of change is occurring independently of current Ministry of Education guidelines or funding (although we are encouraged to note increasing engagement by the Ministry in recent months). 

The parent voice can play an incredibly important role. Learn about Structured Literacy and build the confidence to have a wider conversation about literacy with your child’s teacher. For example – ask about the school’s position on Structured Literacy and the Science of Reading, question the interventions offered to your child or respectively offer to share information about Structured Literacy from this website. A brief conversation can often be the catalyst for great change. Be collaborative, be persistent and keep looking for opportunities to influence. Advocate for your child and for the children yet to come. 

Change needs to be systemic. We acknowledge the tireless work of Lifting Literacy Aotearoa in getting Structured Literacy in front of our politicians and policy makers. At all levels they are advocating for an equitable education system with Structured Literacy at its core. The skill, connections and determination to get this message to the decision makers and to keep it on their agenda should not be underestimated.

The deb continues to work with the Ministry of Education and has provided advice and feedback on a number of projects as they broaden and strengthen their engagement with the dyslexic community. We welcome continued opportunities to further this relationship.

We all can have a role in bringing about change. It may take time, we will need to be agile and there will most certainly be barriers, but it can be done.

The deb, x