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Introducing Campus Online: Our New Virtual Learning Platform


We are excited to announce the migration of the Dyslexia Action CPD courses onto Campus Online, our new virtual learning platform.

Campus Online has been developed in collaboration with educational psychologists and technologyScreenshot of Campus Online platform experts, and features innovative tools and resources to enhance the learning experience. It provides a digital environment where tutors and learners can interact with each other, access learning materials, participate in group discussions, and engage in a variety of online learning activities such as quizzes, assignments, and assessments.  

This platform is specifically designed to make the experience of learning rewarding and collaborative, and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
Read more

An Interview with Natalie Noble

Natalie is a Learning Support Associate in a Secondary School, she has completed a number of courses with Dyslexia Action, and has taken the time to tell us about her experiences. Natalie now also offers independent tuition as a Dyslexia Teacher.

Natalie is also an Associate of The Dyslexia Guild – ADG, find out more about The Dyslexia Guild and our membership grades here.

Which course(s) have you completed with Dyslexia Action Training?

I have completed three Awards with Dyslexia Action which all consist of three units. Level 5 CPD Award in Supporting Adults with Dyslexia and Co-occurring Difficulties, Level 4 CPD Award in Developing Literacy Skills in Learners with Dyslexia and Level 4 CPD Award in Perspectives on Dyslexia.

To find out more about the courses to gain the same awards as Natalie, click here.

What made you choose the Dyslexia Action Training courses over other options?

Dyslexia Action Training courses were appealing because of their online delivery. I was able to study with flexible time management, while still pursuing a full-time job. The pathway route allowed me to study in ‘small chunks’, upskilling with every unit and still following a bigger goal. Unit credits accumulated over time. For example, I started the pathway route in 2018 and completed with the ‘Specialist Teaching Diploma’ in early 2022.

What was your experience of learning with Dyslexia Action? 

I thoroughly enjoyed my online learning experience with Dyslexia Action. At the start of each new unit, when course material was released, I was always excited to discover course content in more detail. In my opinion, the courses were well structured, and I had a clear idea of what was expected of me. Queries were answered as promptly as possible, so overall I felt well-supported, including technical support. Study content was relevant, in line with latest development in the subject field, and it was offered in an appealing mix of sensory presentation, for example videos, PowerPoint Presentations and interactive case studies.

How has the courses helped develop you as an educational professional?

Dyslexia Action CPD training courses have significantly developed my professional knowledge and qualification. I now offer independent tuition as a Dyslexia Teacher, based on individual placement data that outlines the student’s specific literacy needs and strengths. I tend to get new students through word-of-mouth recommendations. I still work within a school setting, where my role has changed over time according to my ‘upskilling’.

Anna Smith Confirmed as Head of the Dyslexia Guild

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Anna Smith has taken on the role as the new Head of the Dyslexia Guild.

The Dyslexia Guild is our membership body for professionals with an interest in Dyslexia and SpLDs. It is a network to encourage discussion between members, information and research as well as keep members informed of developments in the field.

Anna has worked with us at Dyslexia Action for over 10 years, and has done a simply fantastic job as the interim Head. We are thrilled to see that she will be taking up the role permanently.

Speaking of her appointment, Anna said, I am very excited to have taken on the role of Head of the Dyslexia Guild: I am passionate about offering an ever improving service to our members and I am well supported to do this with a fantastic team alongside me. I have some new ideas about how to enrich the membership experience and I am grateful for the support that Real Training is offering me to enable me to take these ideas forward!”

We look forward to seeing Anna’s new ideas and can’t wait to work on many new exciting projects with her!

A Year in Review

This year we celebrated 50 years of Dyslexia Action! Dyslexia Action has always been driven by the people who strived for change in both the medical and educational arenas. As we are nearing the end of 2022, let’s look at some of our biggest accomplishments this year.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme

During 2022 we continued to offer our comprehensive CPD Programme with discounted offers in July and a Black Friday offer in November.  

Our CPD Programme includes short online units, awards and certificates at level 4 and 5, a recently developed social, emotional and mental health unit (Level 5) and SASC accredited courses.

April 2022 – Newly Validated Level 7 Postgraduate Programme launch

Our highly skilled education support team worked extensively to re-validate our Level 7 postgraduate programme and we launched The Master of Education in Professional Practice in Dyslexia and Literacy and its related programmes. This programme at Master’s Level 7, provides training for qualified teachers to become practitioners, specialist teachers and/or teacher/practitioner assessors. The programme is modular and is undertaken part-time, through tutor-supported online learning and forums.

July 2022 – The Dyslexia Guild Annual Summer Conference

The Dyslexia Guild Annual Summer Conference at the University of Bath. After three years, it was great to finally meet face-to-face again and network. The conference provided a great opportunity to meet with dyslexia/SpLD specialists and discuss topical issues relating to literacy, maths, dyslexia and so much more. Keep an eye out for The Dyslexia Guild Annual Summer Conference 2023 plans!

September 2022 – Level 5 Diploma in Specialist Teaching for Literacy-Related Difficulties 

Our Level 5 Diploma was restructured and renamed, Level 5 Diploma in Specialist Teaching for Literacy-Related Difficulties (DIST), and we had our first cohort in September 2022 this year. This course is a unique, online SpLD training qualification that is undertaken part-time. It is a comprehensive programme that trains teachers, teaching assistants and support tutors to become qualified specialist SpLD teachers or practitioners. 

October 2022 – Tes SEND Show 

We exhibited at the Tes SEND Show in October, this is the UK’s leading SEND show, and an annual must-see! Dr. Siobhan Mellor and Sarah Norris, both integral members of the team at Real Group, parent company to Dyslexia Action, spoke at the SEND Solution Theatre about Inclusive Frameworks: Supporting Pupil Mental Health and Achievement. We will be back at the Tes Show on 13 & 14 October 2023 – hopefully we will see you there!

November 2022 – Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship

To mark the 50th anniversary of Dyslexia Action, we announced the launch of the Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship, as we are passionate about providing training for teachers, teaching assistants and tutorsWe were absolutely delighted to receive numerous applications for this exciting opportunity. Thank you to everyone that applied, after a long decision-making process, the scholarship was awarded to Melissa Whitley!

November 2022 – The Independent Schools SEND Conference

In November, Dyslexia Action Training and Real Training exhibited at the Independent Schools SEND Conference in association with the Independent Schools Council. The ISC represents over 1,370 UK independent schools, which educate over 537,000 pupils. It was also a great opportunity to catch-up with our colleagues at Sporting and Educational Futures, who are an Ofsted Outstanding Provider offering a variety of apprenticeships.

December 2022 – Dyslexia & Me – Onyinye Udokporo

We were lucky to receive a copy of Dyslexia & Me by Onyinye Udokporo from JKP Books to offer as a giveaway to one of our lucky followers! Dyslexia & Me combines Onyinye’s personal story with political and cultural insights, practical tips and advice. We were pleased to be able to offer the book to winner Becky Bland – hope you enjoy your new book Becky! If you’d like to get your own copy, you can find it here

We cannot wait to see what 2023 has to bring! From all of us here at Real Training we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Our winner of the Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship – Melissa Whitley!

To mark the 50th anniversary of Dyslexia Action, we were delighted to announce the launch of the Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship.

Named after one of our founders, the Kathleen Teaching Hickey Scholarship was created to offer one place on our Level 5 Diploma in Specialist Teaching for Literacy-Related Difficulties. The Level 5 Diploma trains teachers, teaching assistants and support tutors to become qualified specialist teachers or practitioners. This allows them to make a difference in the lives of learners with dyslexia and other SpLDs. We were absolutely delighted to receive numerous applications. Thank you to everyone that applied, after a long decision-making process, the scholarship was awarded to Melissa Whitley! 


Melissa Whitley has taught children with literacy difficulties for many years. We caught up with Melissa to find out more about what winning the Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship meant to her!

What made you interested in applying for the scholarship?

I have taught children with literacy difficulties for many years. I’m very lucky, it’s a wonderful way to spend my day. Over the years I’ve found myself becoming fascinated with how  children learn to read and why some seem to grasp it effortlessly while others struggle. Teaching a systematic phonic scheme is effective for the majority of children I teach, but for others I sometimes question whether I’ve done enough and whether a different approach would have suited them better.

While researching literacy problems, it became apparent that there is a lack of specialist training for teachers within schools and frustrated parents were at a loss with how to help their children. With this in mind I‘ve been determined to find out more. It really saddens me to hear about adults who have struggled through school, not realising that their problems were due to dyslexia and probably could have been helped with a better understanding of how to teach them.

As for funding a Level 5 Course is out of my reach at the minute, I have only been able to complete some basic training. When I discovered there was the possibility of a Scholarship I jumped at the chance, my fingers have never moved so fast across a keyboard.

How did you find the Application process?

For me, the application took little effort, it’s very easy to write about something you feel so passionate about. So then I waited, with everything crossed, I’d no idea whether I was even in with a chance.

How did it feel to win the Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship?

When the email came through from Anna Smith I just couldn’t believe it! I was over the moon and had a little dance round the kitchen.

What are you looking forward to about the course?

I’m so thankful to be given this opportunity. I’m hoping that by completing this course I can help children fulfil their potential, improve their life chances and ultimately their happiness.

Thank you, Melissa, we wish you luck and every success on the course!

Black Friday 2022

Our Black Friday Sale is now live!

Are you planning to book CPD for the New Year?

We are excited to share our limited time discount when you book a CPD course for our 18 January 2023 cohort.

You will save £10+VAT per course, but be quick! Offer ends Sunday 11 December ay 11.59pm*.
Discount is automatically applied at registration, so no code is required.

Click below to find out more:

Which Courses Are Eligible For The Discount?

How Do I Book?


This offer has now come to an end

Applications are now open for the Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship!


To mark the 50th anniversary of Dyslexia Action, we are delighted to announce the launch of the Kathleen Hickey Teaching Scholarship. We are passionate about providing training for teachers, teaching assistants and tutors. We would like to reach out to individuals who have financial limitations, but who also feel that with this specialist training, they might become exceptional educational providers in their own settings.



Kathleen Hickey was Dyslexia Action’s first Director of Studies in 1972, and her multisensory language programme has provided an essential building block for what is now the esteemed Dyslexia Action Literacy Programme (DALP), a key component of our Level 5 Diploma in Specialist Teaching for Literacy-Related Difficulties (DIST).

We are looking for applicants who…

• Demonstrate a passion for those with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) dyslexia and literacy
• Are able to explain how the scholarship funding will impact yourself and others
• Meet the course entry requirements


The deadline for applications was 15 November 2022. Applications are now closed.


Tes SEND Show 2022

We are very excited to be exhibiting at the Tes SEND Show this week! This is the UK’s leading SEND show, and an annual must-see!

Come and visit us on 7-8 October, at Stand 135. We have resources, goodies, information and more!


Register here today for this free event!

Theresa Gillbard FDG – Interview

Theresa Gillbard is a Fellow of the Dyslexia Guild. With many years working in teacher and student training, Theresa has a long history with Dyslexia Action, and she was keen to share her thoughts about the celebration of 50 years.

“Over the years, DA has afforded a transformation of the term ‘Dyslexia’, from being considered a ‘stigma’ to a meaningful and now recognised, unique, neuro-diverse talent. Albeit frequently presenting challenges, the recognition of strengths far out ways the demeanours of weaknesses.”

Tess Gillbard FDG 

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dyslexia Action this year, and would like to explore the relationship you have with the organisation.  Can we ask what you see as your relationship with us?  

My relationship with Dyslexia Action is multifaceted. Having qualified in 1988, these 34 intervening years have really enabled me to create a feeling of self-belief in my own dyslexia. It has also generated confidence to pursue the strengths that I now realise I have and can pass on to others through new learning skills as well as strategies. There is a vital diversity in learning that is necessary for all dyslexic people whatever the age. Fifty years has really enabled a great deal of development, not just on the research side, but also from a personal point of view, it has given me the opportunity to pass on to others whether they be children or adults, providing a greater opportunity for future lives.

What is it about Dyslexia Action that makes you value us? 

Dyslexia Action for me have always worked as a team .They have always wanted to develop greater knowledge. I have been fortunate in being appointed several times to new projects, one of which I clearly remember as being very exciting for me is the being involved in promoting ‘Dyslexia-friendly’ schools at the Bath Dyslexia Institute, as well as being involved in the teacher training aspect. I was selected to work on the achievability project, which was a new government initiative to provide funding for students with disabilities and for those who had never had the opportunity to go to university. I was part of a small group where we presented to identified dyslexic undergraduates, and trained them to become student ambassadors. These student ambassadors would go into schools to talk and encourage sixth formers to consider the opportunity of going to university. Later down the line, I was particularly thrilled to meet part of my team of University of Bristol undergrads who I recognised as tutoring at the Dyslexia Institute when they were younger!

Thereafter, I was offered the position of principal in Bristol, but took on principal designate as I had personal matters which meant that I needed to take on a lesser role. Through the Dyslexia Institute I was then appointed to a brand new role, which was never considered before, which was to be the first dyslexia study skills support tutor, at Bath Spa University. It was with the assistance of the Dyslexia Institute that I was appointed. It’s carried me through to tutoring at a number of universities, Bath, Bristol, Gloucester…and during that time I became an assessor again through using my APC with the support of Dyslexia Action. Dyslexia Action was very helpful in terms of providing background information when I was privileged to carry out the role of the dyslexia advocate at a court hearing. So, historically Dyslexia Action has provided a wide variety of extensions of the term ‘dyslexia’ for me. I seemed to have moved during that 50 years through a whole realm of opportunities which in no way would I have been afforded had I not carried out my training with Dyslexia Action.

What would you say were the strengths of our courses?  

I mentioned teamwork before, when I’ve attended a course, even the upgrade of my APC. As a dyslexic it has engendered confidence and belief for my own specific strengths to develop those new skills. I think when you’re working with like-minded people, some of whom may be dyslexic, others not. Our main goal is to address the needs and identify the specific skills, strengths and weaknesses of the students with whom we are working with and supporting. It is hugely essential that Dyslexia Action carries this forward and continues to build that team notion, so that it is more of everyone working together which I feel is a huge value of being a part of Dyslexia Action. 

Which of the Dyslexia Guild benefits do you think makes us stand out from other membership bodies? 

I’m very aware that when when you’re attending a conference, for example. The involvement of academics who cover a wide area of learning strategies is very important, but I think that’s what Dyslexia Action does is build that unification to a degree that makes one feel that you have grasped all aspects to make it a whole. One would like to think based on previous conferences that you come away with a whole picture. Each person is contributing to that jigsaw and you come away with a far clearer picture of the intentions of those people and how we can plant that new learning into the work whereby we are supporting the children and adults.

What would you like to say about Dyslexia Action and our 50-year history?

In terms of the history of dyslexia, it has taken some time for schools and headteachers to allow the children to come out of school to attend the Dyslexia Institute because they didn’t necessarily believe or understand dyslexia. The stigmatisation was hard to overcome, there have been court cases, where fortunately parents have won their case, but it’s very sad that they had to take that route in the first place. In wanting support, it was a battle of trying to encourage the teachers to understand that the child is fine, they are very bright, they just learn slightly differently. In many ways, stigmatisation was far greater back then, but I think what’s happened is that through Dyslexia Action, people have been brought to the forefront such as Albert Einstein, Kara Tointon or Richard Branson, people who are extremely smart and successful, with a diagnosis of dyslexia. Dyslexia Action more than anyone has actually helped promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the diversity that dyslexic people provide and can influence other people. And that’s why I mentioned social pedagogy, because I do believe that there are areas where children aren’t able to receive that support. I have been a tutor on the masters course at Bath Spa training teachers to be dyslexia qualified teachers, so it has come full circle. I just hope that we can just respect and and love each other’s uniqueness and diversity in a way that the 50 years of Dyslexia Action has done through understanding, empathy and promotion.

Would you recommend others to book courses with Dyslexia Action or to join The Dyslexia Guild?

I recommend Dyslexia Action and I wholeheartedly do and have done. I also feel that the constant research that’s being carried out is great because it is continually evolving, and the more we can involve ourselves in sharing those new findings and new ideas, the more we can support all of our dyslexics, but primarily starting with the younger ones. One of my aims, which I constantly comment on if I’m working with a child in a school or even independently –  we need to support the government to help implement changes in the national curriculum. I think nothing’s been more proven than during the COVID situation where some of our dyslexic children have been able to recreate their own talents and uniqueness at home. Social pedagogy is hugely important, and I am excited to see the development of future programmes.

Is there anything we could do better or developments you would like to see for the future?

In terms of helping to implement changes in the national curriculum, that to me is the main focus, to create a better balance for our children’s learning. I am still tutoring children and it is sadly quite common still that there are those that are not being recognised. I think diversity is becoming far more accepted, but the issues in relation to dyslexia are sometimes hidden because many of our children are very bright children and so already by age 7 they’re creating their own strategies in order to manage their learning. But the support for these children is lacking, there needs to be a continuation of training in more diverse areas.

Sarah Matthews MDG – Interview

Sarah Matthews (MDG) is a member of the Dyslexia Guild, and has been since 2016. Sarah is a Specialist Teacher Assessor with a Dyslexia Action Professional Certificate in Assessment Practice for Dyslexia and Literacy. As we are celebrating 50 years of Dyslexia Action, we wanted to interview Sarah about our organisation and our courses.

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dyslexia Action this year, and would like to explore the relationship you have with the organisation. Can we ask what you see as your relationship with us?  

I’ve been a member since I studied for my Level 7 specialist teaching through Dyslexia Action. I think I got a discount when the course ended and I became a specialist teacher. I thought it would be useful to also be a member of the Dyslexia Guild too. It is a great benefit to be able to borrow resources from the library to access the forums, so it was great just to have an organisation behind me supporting me and my career when I embarked on my Level 7 assessor course. The library enables you to borrow the assessments for free. So it’s just been really useful. I work supporting university students with their studies as a tutor. I wouldn’t have the job without being a member!

What is it about Dyslexia Action that makes you value us? 

I’ve studied with Dyslexia Action, and I haven’t used anybody else. I am familiar with it. It is professional and organised. The people who work within Dyslexia Action get back to me really quickly and they seem friendly and approachable. It is a well-recognised organisation and it just suits me brilliantly.

What would you say are the strengths of our courses?  

There are many strengths of the courses. Moodle is great – this is where you go to access all the information. They are really good at not overwhelming you to start with, they will release aspects at certain times. Embarking on a Level 7 course was at first quite daunting, but they supported me throughout the whole thing by not overwhelming me. Releasing content when we were ready and also going through sections together. There were deadlines and a manual for each course, tutors were friendly and approachable. It’s really valuable. 

Which of the Dyslexia Guild benefits do you think makes us stand out from other membership bodies? 

I have not even looked to other membership bodies because they haven’t been needed. Dyslexia Action therefore gives you everything. I think I would get a bit too confused and overwhelmed if I was a member of lots of different organisations, especially if I’m already working in a school. I just wanted to keep it simple, so that you can go to one place for everything – and the Dyslexia Guild serves that purpose. With the history of 50 years, there is clearly a lot of history backing this up as well. It is a well-rounded company and I’ve learnt a lot about dyslexia.

What would you like to say about Dyslexia Action and our 50-year history?

Dyslexia Action has grown from strength to strength. I think it is great, it just needs to build on its greatness. It’s important to support people that have dyslexia. And we need to know where to go for professional help as we don’t always know everything. It is comforting to know there are organisations that piece it all together. We also need reliable and up to date information, and I think Dyslexia Action provides that.

Would you recommend others to book courses with Dyslexia Action or to join The Dyslexia Guild?

Yes, I have friends of mine who are colleagues, and they have undertaken courses with Dyslexia Action. I was supposed to do a course for each sector, but didn’t end up needing to as my colleague had already done one. And then my two other colleagues who were with another organisation to do their level 5, then decided to do their level 7 assessor course with Dyslexia Action as they said the difference was amazing. It was so professional. The process of APC renewal is way more straightforward. They value what you’ve done and the process is quicker. I would definitely recommend it 100%.

Is there anything we could do better or developments you would like to see for the future?

You have to read through lots of different forums. It would be nice to look up keywords for example, and then the information could come up specifically for what you’re looking at. Sometimes with limited time and deadlines, it’s good to be able to quickly access what you need. 


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