Campaigners and teachers have warned against the government’s new spelling tests for primary school children, feeling that they will stifle creativity and discriminate against pupils with dyslexia.


The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) said it has been inundated with calls from primary headteachers who are alarmed about the new system, which will require 10- and 11-year-olds to correctly spell more than 100 key words before they are judged to have reach expected educational standards. The system will come into effect for exams taking place this summer.


Following an outcry from teaching unions, the government attempted to clarify the new writing assessments this week by partially backtracking on the proposals. But campaigners have argued that the concessions offered do not go far enough.


Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the headteachers’ union, the NAHT, said: “We have significant concerns about the treatment of children with dyslexia: we are worried that there is a risk of discrimination. Schools are prevented from properly recognising the successes of dyslexic students in the way they can with other students.”