Patoss 2021 Virtual Conference and Annual General Meeting

In 2021 we will once again be holding our Annual Conference virtually. This time you will have opportunities to access all seminars/presentations. Held on 24th April 2021 Professor Richard Wagner, co-author of the CTOPP and TOWRE, will be giving the keynote address.

Each year some of the top SpLD specialists in their given profession come together for the Annual Conference. Heading our 2021 Conference programme, Professor Wagner will speak on ‘New Developments in our Understanding of Dyslexia: Implications for Assessment and Identification’.

As a run-up to the conference day we are breaking the mould and making all six seminars available to all delegates three weeks in advance of the conference, so you have the opportunity to hear them all before the day. The seminars will not be shown live at the conference, but our speakers will be present at the event on the 24th for live Q&A sessions with delegates.

The keynote address will be presented on 24th April with a live Q&A session following.

All recordings will be available for two weeks after the conference.

You will also be able to network with other delegates, interact with sponsors and exhibitors and meet virtually with other attendees whose interests match yours.

Keynote Address

Professor Richard Wagner - New Developments in our Understanding of Dyslexia:  Implications for Assessment and Identification (SASC Authorised)


Despite decades of research, it has been difficult to achieve consensus on a definition of common learning disabilities such as dyslexia.  This lack of consensus represents a fundamental problem for individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in the field.  Relatedly, common approaches to assessment of individuals with dyslexia do not result in sufficiently reliable and valid identification.  Because dyslexia is a latent condition with multiple symptoms, not all of which will be present in every individual, approaches to identification that primarily rely on any single criterion are problematical.  An approach to assessment will be described that addresses this problem by combining multiple sources of information including phonological processing, reading, oral language, family history, and common co-occurring conditions such as deficits in attention.  Advances in our knowledge of the prevalence of dyslexia makes it possible to further improve assessment by using a Bayesian approach to combine these multiple sources of information.


The seminars and workshops which follow are designed to look at the current practical issues within the sector. This year delegates will be able to view all seminars if they wish.

Professor Anna Barnett & Dr Nichola Stuart - Handwriting Assessment (SASC Authorised)

Writing and transcription skills (handwriting and keyboarding) are critical throughout education and in employment. However, these are complex skills and students with cognitive, attention, language or motor coordination difficulties may struggle to become proficient in this area. This can have a negative impact on classroom learning, examination performance and self-esteem. The use of robust assessment tools will aid in the identification of and support for individuals with writing and handwriting difficulties. This presentation will introduce practical ways to assess the speed and legibility of handwriting and to evaluate written composition skills. Examples from the Handwriting Legibility Scale (HLS) and Writing Quality Scale (WQS) will be shared. 

Age Range: All - primary, secondary, FE/HE, adult

Dr Ginny Stacey - Processing Skills for Dealing with Dyslexia/SpLD beyond Spelling and Reading

Most dyslexic/ SpLD students don't subliminally learn higher-order processing skills. For example, in producing an essay, they carry out research, construct a theme and write the essay. They are using various higher-order processing skills, but they don't learn the skills so that writing the next essay builds on what they have done.  There are many useful processing skills that have to be taught in their own right.

This workshop will include activities using these processing skills so that participants can see how they work.  We will discuss why it is necessary to teach these skills deliberately to dyslexic/ SpLD individuals.  We will share ideas about using these skills in the situations in which the participants teach.

All these processes allow a dyslexic/ SpLD person to use their mind with greater skill so that the problems of dyslexia/ SpLD are minimised and their achievements match their innate potential.

SEN Books has a special offer for the full set of Ginny Stacey's books for PATOSS delegates; the promotion flyer can be downloaded from the SEN Books' booth at the conference.

Age Range: to teach deliberately to secondary, FE/HE, and adult students; to use with primary pupils

Dr Markéta Caravolas - Assessment and Implications for Teaching Support for Children with Dyslexia Who Are Speakers of English as a Second Language (SASC Authorised)

An enduring question regarding language and literacy assessments in struggling readers/writers who are learning in a second or additional language, is how best to disentangle the possible causes of their difficulties. To what extent do these children’s weaker skills reflect insufficient command of the target language due to lesser exposure and practice, and to what extent might they signal underlying specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia?  In this workshop, we will review the most recent research exploring these questions in bilingual and EL2 primary school-aged populations.  Based on current findings, we will consider which skills are transferable across languages and therefore can be evaluated in either the child’s main language (L1) or second language (L2), and, which skills are less transferable and therefore best evaluated in both of the child’s spoken and/or written languages. In the practical component of the workshop, we will examine the Multilanguage Assessment Battery of Early Literacy for principles of cross-language testing and for guidelines on the interpretation of the profile of results.

Age range: Primary

Melanie Jameson - Exploring Reasonable Adjustments for SpLDs in Tribunals and Family Courts

It is not surprising that people with Specific Learning Differences often struggle with the demands of court and tribunal hearings.  They will need to process language-based information rapidly and accurately, sustain their attention and cope with an avalanche of detailed information in what is known as the ‘court bundle’. Unfortunately, coping with court and tribunal hearings relies on just those skill areas that are often compromised in the SpLD population. However, support is available through the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 – but how do you go about obtaining it? This session will look at appropriate ‘reasonable adjustments’ and various forms of human support, as well as how to clue up your lawyer. We shall also explore drawing up supporting documentation.

In addition, Melanie will flag up official judicial guidance which covers the whole family of SpLDs, and direct us to resources both for court-users and for justice staff.

Age range: All

Dr Grace Elliott - Key Issues to Highlight at Transition Periods.  Early years to Primary; Primary to Secondary – Strategies to Address Them 

Strategies to ameliorate the oral language and reading comprehension difficulties of children at key transition periods: EYFS to Primary; Primary to Secondary.

It is widely regarded that learning to read is one of the most crucial aspects of a child’s learning, and that a great deal of a child’s formal education will depend upon being able to read with understanding. Difficulties with reading can lead to educational difficulties, as well as economic and social disadvantage. However, such difficulties may be reduced by suitable intervention.

Reading comprehension, like listening comprehension, requires connecting and integrating words using background knowledge, knowledge of linguistic patterns and text structures. Skilled comprehenders are able to make these connections quickly, and in doing so organise the text into a coherent whole. However, children with poor reading comprehension (3-10% of students) read accurately but do not always understand what they have read.

This workshop will provide a range of inclusive and practical strategies, like reciprocal and dialogic teaching, which can be used to support poor comprehenders at key transition periods.

Age Range: Early Years, Primary, Secondary

Professor Daniel Ansari - Searching for the Equivalent of Phonological Awareness in Early Numeracy (SASC Authorised)

In the study of typical and atypical reading key early predictors of later reading success, such as phonological awareness and phonics have been identified. The discovery of these key building blocks of the reading brain have been translated into screeners for children at risk as well as evidence-based interventions for struggling readers. In this talk, I will discuss whether similar key foundational skills can be identified for better understanding individual differences in early numeracy development and what they are. In this context, I will discuss how children learn the meaning of numerical symbols (i.e. number words and Arabic numerals) and how differences between children in their processing of symbols maps onto their learning of arithmetic. I will discuss the implications of this work for screening and remediation of mathematical learning difficulties. Furthermore, I will discuss the overlap between reading and mathematical difficulties.

Age Range: Early years/Primary

Lynn Greenwold - Annual Update

Lynn Greenwold, Patoss Chief Executive Officer will deliver her annual topical update.

Additional Information

CPD Values

Please note the conference will give you 11.25 hours cpd of which 4.25 are SASC Authorised.

Exhibitors, Sponsors and Suppliers

You can visit the multiple exhibitors virtually.  A list of exhibitors and principle sponsors is shown on the website so you can be sure not to miss out. Most exhibitors have special offers for delegates on the day.

Annual General Meeting

Our Patoss AGM will be held during the lunch break. It is your opportunity to come along and see what we've been up to and ask any questions. Attendance is optional.


In the conference platform users can connect to other delegates through the list of attendees, see who else is attending and make connections if they wish. Attendees can decide which other attendees they will share their date with.

Resources and Materials

Take the opportunity to look at and order books from many of the exhibiting retailers.

What you get on the day

Other than coming away with a raft of new information and having built fantastic networks, Patoss provides attendees with comprehensive notes covering all presentations, seminars and workshops in the form of a conference brochure. 


10.30 - 10.45   Conference opens – Introduction by Lynn Greenwold

10.55 - 11.50  Prof Richard Wagner – ‘New Developments in our Understanding of Dyslexia: Implications for Assessment and Identification’

12.00 - 12.45   Live Q&A with Prof Wagner following keynote

Lunch break and Networking with other delegates 12.45-2.00

AGM during lunch 1.15 - 1.45

2.00 - 2.45   Live Question Time Panel with: Professor Anna Barnett, Dr Nichola Stuart, Dr Markéta Caravolas, Prof Daniel Ansari

2.55 - 3.40   Live Question Time Panel with Dr Grace Elliott, Melanie Jameson, Dr Ginny Stacey

3.45 - 4.15   Lynn Greenwold, Patoss CEO Annual Update

4.15 - 5.15   Lounge carousel – meet delegates with similar interests

As with all of our CPD you will have access to the recordings for two weeks following the conference.


Sheila Rostill, Conference Administrator


T:   07956 644 786

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