News from CDA

April 2018

Children Will Shine dates for the Summer term

Children Will Shine, the Literacy Support Workshops provided by the Croydon Dyslexia Association will be starting back on Saturday 21st April, with Key Stage 3-4 session running from 9.30 am to 10.45am, and the Key Stage 2 session running from 11.15am to 12.30pm.  For full details go to What Does CDA Do?

After the dreadful weather in the last term causing 1 session to be postponed, there is an additional ‘catch up’ session this term on June 2nd

April 2018 Newsletter emailed to members

If you have not received your copy, please email the helpline on  Backdated newsletters can be viewed at Newsletters. 

Newsletters are sent out to members three times a year in January, April and September.  This is just one of the benefits of becoming a member.  For details on how to become a member of the Croydon Dyslexia Association  please go to How to Join

January 2018

Searching for a sponsor

Do you know anyone, such as a local company, who might be prepared to sponsor CDA? We rely on members’ subscriptions and small donations to run the Helpline and pay for the Open Meetings’ venue and speakers. These all happen thanks to a great team of volunteers. Fees paid for Children Will Shine workshops just about match the outlay on the teaching, room hire and resources.
CDA’s website is free – we would like to improve it but need a small amount of extra funds to pay for an upgrade.
We now have a waiting list for the Children Will Shine workshops and would like to extend the opportunities they offer to local children. For this again, we need some extra funds.
If you know someone who might be prepared to help CDA to achieve one or both of these two projects, please talk to us at an Open Meeting or get in touch via the Helpline.


Children Will Shine dates for the Spring And Summer terms

Children Will Shine, the Literacy Support Workshops provided by the Croydon Dyslexia Association will be starting back on Saturday 13th January, with Key Stage 3 session running from 9.30 am to 10.45am, and the Key Stage 2 session running from 11.15am to 12.30pm.  For full details go to What Does CDA Do?

September 2017

Children Will Shine dates for the Autumn term

Children Will Shine, the Literacy Support Workshops provided by the Croydon Dyslexia Association will be starting back on Saturday 23rd September, with Key Stage 3 session running from 9.30 am to 10.45am, and the Key Stage 2 session running from 11.15am to 12.30pm.  For full details go to What Does CDA Do?

Attached is a flyer advertising Children Will Shine – please feel free to print it off and post it on community noticeboards, or send it to friends.  It is only by publicising this service that we can keep numbers attending up to the necessary levels.  Children Will Shine Sept ’17

The literacy workshops will be led next term by Sara Whittington, an experienced Specialist Dyslexia Teacher, and Kelly Bidwell will be continuing as the Teaching Assistant.  The following is a note from Sara introducing herself:

Dear Parents and Carers,

My name is Sara Whittington and I will be the Specialist Teacher running the ‘Children will Shine’ Saturday morning classes, organised by Croydon Dyslexia Association (CDA). 

I’m very much looking forward to meeting you and your children when the classes start in September, but thought you might like to know a little bit about me in the meantime

I have eight years teaching experience working in a secondary school as Literacy Coordinator and Dyslexia Specialist Teacher.  I also worked for five years for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), where I was a Family Learning Consultant, working in over 20 primary schools across the Borough of Southwark.  Before this, I worked for CALAT where I worked as a Family Learning Consultant and Family Learning Numeracy Project Manager, also for five years.   As well as having a Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties, (SPLD), I also have additional qualifications for both literacy and numeracy specialist teaching.

For the past three years I have focused my attention on teaching and assessing children with dyslexia (SpLD), primarily in Surrey and Southwark schools, but have also been working as a Consultant Assessor for Dyslexia Action.  I have an approved Practising Certificate from Patoss and am on their list of Approved Assessors.

Once again, I very much look forward to meeting you and your children when they start their ‘Children will Shine’ lessons this September.

Best wishes


April 2017

Croydon Dyslexia Association Newsletter

The April edition of the CDA Newsletter is available here.

The September edition to follow shortly. – the Dyslexia Friendly App

The British Dyslexia Association has sent details about a dyslexia-friendly app for use on mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc.
It provides information and resources for everything you need to know about dyslexia and allows users to adjust text sizes and colour schemes.
It’s called   and results from a project funded by the Department for Education.



August 2016

Special needs pupils lack crucial support, poll suggests

  • Too many pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England lack crucial support, a poll of education staff suggests.

  • More than 80% of almost 600 staff, who responded to an ATL – Association of Teachers and Lecturers – poll, said some pupils were being failed.

  • Ministers should provide “significant and immediate” extra cash, said ATL General Secretary Dr Mary Bousted.

  • The government said it wanted all children to reach their potential.

The statements above introduce a BBC News item on a recent survey carried out by the ATL union. For many years the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has been campaigning for dyslexia training to be made compulsory on all Initial Teacher Training courses. If those with mild-moderate dyslexic difficulties had their needs met in mainstream classrooms by such trained teachers, then maybe funding could be found for those with more severe difficulties.

Free Training IS available!

There are a series of free Train the Trainer events funded by the Department for Education in England, running from September 2016 until January 2017. Together with Dyslexia Action, Helen Arkell and Patoss, the BDA are delivering ‘Teaching to Neurodiversity, engaging learners with SEND’ training for primary, secondary and post 16 education.

To learn more

To book please go to



Help us to improve Home Office online services

Our helpline has been contacted  by Home Office Digital, which builds online services such as renew your passport and registered traveller.
The team focuses on provision of accessible and inclusive services and technology to customers. To fulfil this aim, it is important for them to understand the needs of people in the community in order to build online services that work for them.To be able to do this, they conduct research with various participants, including people with dyslexia.
Ideally, Home Office Digital would like to build a bank of people to contact whenever they want to check the accessibility of a new online service.
Below is some information to explain how interested participants can contact the Home Office Digital team.


Would you be interested in being a part of a user research panel, to help us make sure that people with access needs/disabilities can use our services? This is a chance to help improve government services.
Who we are and what we do
The User Research & Design Team is here to improve Home Office services, but we need your assistance to make that possible.
Our work involves talking to users of Home Office online services so that we can find ways to make those services better for them. We usually do this by asking people to try out a new website or service we are building. We use their feedback to help us make improvements as we go along and we typically provide £40 in shopping vouchers for an hour’s research, or £20 for half an hour.
Your details will be stored securely and reviewed after 2 years and everything we cover in our research is confidential and anonymous. It will only ever be used to inform the redesign of our services, and never for any other purpose. All our research is carried out in accordance with the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct and you can opt out at any time.
We really want to talk to people who have:
* access needs, including: dyslexia, deafness, impairments or mental health conditions
* difficulty with or do not like, using the internet.
How you can help
If you are interested in taking part in future research, please send an email to  and tell us:
 Yes, I want to help
 My access needs are…. (if any)
 I use……..special software or equipment (if any)
 I prefer to be contacted by…… (telephone/ email/ text message)
 My preferred contact details are…..
We will then contact you at some point when we have research coming up.
We hope to talk to you soon.


June 2016

Petition to reinstate allowances regarding spelling for pupils with dyslexia

A petition has been launched to reinstate allowances regarding spelling for pupils with dyslexia and the British Dyslexia Association welcomes and encourages all of our members and supporters to sign it. Thousands of children with dyslexia will be marked as failures under the government’s controversial new primary writing assessments. Pupils will be expected to spell almost 200 words on government wordlists if they are to reach the ‘expected standard’ for writing at the end of Year 6. No allowance will be made for the tens of thousands of pupils with dyslexia.     Please visit the site to show your support and add your name to the petition


Awards for Dyslexia Champions in the 2016 Birthday Honours

 CDA sends its congratulations to:
  • Margaret Malpas, Joint Chair of the British Dyslexia Association (BDA).  Margaret has been awarded a MBE for Services to Education
  • Professor Maggie Snowling, former BDA Vice President.  Maggie has been awarded a CBE for services to science and the understanding of dyslexia
  • Margaret Rooms, Head of Units of Sound Development for Dyslexia Action.  Margaret has been awarded a MBE for Services to Education
  • Professor Susan Gathercole, BDA International Conference contributor and research psychologist into working memory deficits in children. Susan has been awarded an OBE for services to science and the understanding of dyslexia


More information about CDA?


Phone: 0333 111 00 66 (evenings and weekends until 9pm)


Registered Charity No. 289947 (A member of the British Dyslexia Association)