Former UK Health Secretary Called for Dyslexia Screening for all Children

14 December 2021 | Author: Chris Taylor

Former UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock called for all children about to leave primary education to be screened for dyslexia in parliament last week.

The MP for West Suffolk was diagnosed with dyslexia himself, but not until he had left schooling and was studying at Oxford University. He introduced a Dyslexia Screening Bill and called on colleagues to back “vital” reform.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Hancock said those who cannot read or write properly are more likely to be unemployed and involved in crime.

He wrote, “Simple early screening and education would go a long way towards helping dyslexics into the workplace and out of the cycle of crime, and be so valuable to businesses who can make the most of all that potential.”

He also wrote that he welcomes Nadhim Zahawi, UK Education Secretary’s recent commitment to a white paper tackling illiteracy. Adding that illiteracy cannot be tackled without “getting to grips with dyslexia”.

“Everyone has a contribution to make, and it’s our job in politics to help people make it. But the system holds dyslexic people back – when, in truth, the potential has never been greater. Today’s Bill is a small step to releasing that potential,” he continued in his column.

“I’m passionate about improving support for dyslexic people – and all those with neurodiversity – because I feel I was one of the lucky ones.

“I had brilliant teachers and decent maths, so could get to an amazing university which could set me on the right path.”

The member of parliament since 2010 has been supported in his bid for new legislation by a number of organisations supporting neurodiverse conditions, among them is Includability Official Partner, Lexxic, who supported his story on social media.

The bill has now passed its first reading and will be given a second reading on Friday 18 March.