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Does SPELD recognise PLD's programs?

AUSPELD is a national body comprised of representatives from various state SPELD associations and a recognised Global Partner of the International Dyslexia Association. Each SPELD organisation is extremely busy catering for large numbers of students and families. While the SPELD’s deliver assessments and diagnose dyslexia, they also advocate best practice. The SPELD’s act to encourage evidence-based processes and programs in schools to prevent students from acquiring the diagnosis of dyslexia.

PLD has a positive working relationship with SPELD’s in various states. Many of the SPELD’s have been supplied with a full collection of the PLD programs for their libraries and PLD also collaborates annually with workshop presentations throughout Australia.

What does AUSPELD recommend?

AUSPELD provides recommendations on evidence-based programs that are backed by current research, linked to improved academic results and supported by independent reviews of the effectiveness of the program. This allows schools to make informed choices on the programs they implement and thereby preventing the number of students with a dyslexia diagnosis. AUSPELD applies the three-tier approach to implementing Structured Synthetic Phonics (SSP) in schools. This is explained in the graphic below:


In 2017, PLD was identified by AUSPLED as a recommended Tier 1 (whole class) program and a Tier 2 (small group) evidence-based Structured Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program.

AUSPELD recommends PLD’s literacy range as it utilises a systematic sequence of teaching synthetic phonics and includes phoneme-grapheme teaching, reading and writing (dictation) activities and the introduction of high frequency, phonetically irregular words.

In 2019, the Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation compared PLD with other evidence-based SSP programs within the publication The Bulletin. See how PLD compares to their list of 8 recommended programs here.

What is a three-tier approach to implementing SSP in schools?

Wave 1 (or Tier 1) Programs: Students require explicit, systematic targeted (SSP) classroom instruction from their junior primary years. This involves the skilful delivery of an evidence-based program at a whole class and small group level so that as many children as possible achieve a positive start to literacy. This is PLD’s area of strength, in fact, PLD originally stood for ‘Preventing Literacy Difficulties’. The outcomes for students are inevitably highest when evidence-based instruction is skillfully delivered form the earliest years in education. PLD’s Whole School Literacy Strategy ensures a systematic, evidence-based approach to the teaching of synthetic phonics is achieved.

Wave 2 (or Tier 2) Programs: Even when classroom teachers skillfully implement wave 1 programs, a group of students will always require wave (or Tier) 2 teaching. When delivered in a small group and at the earliest point of experiencing the difficulty, the students receiving an appropriate program, have the potential to catch up to their age-matched peers. Early intervention is critical. This can be delivered by a specifically trained education assistant or a literacy support teacher. PLD’s programs can be used to effectively provide wave 2 small group programs.

In addition, PLD’s screening and assessment tools ensure students requiring wave 2 intervention are identified as soon as possible. To assist schools, all assessments are now available to download directly from the PLD website. Assessments such as these quickly identify the targeted instruction that students require and assist in establishing a plan for intervention.

To strengthen the consistent implementation of PLD’s SSP Tier 1 and 2 programs, PLD advocates for the whole school use of the termly tracking sheets. In this way, the quarterly (or termly testing) is entered on the specifically designed spreadsheets and under performing classrooms and students are identified and support is provided. PLD reminds schools that without adequate training, the implementation of PLD programs can be compromised.

Wave 3 (or Tier 3) Programs: These students typically present with a range of cognition, learning, behavioural, emotional, social, communication, sensory and/or physical needs. They have the potential to progress, requiring intensive highly personalized instruction over the long-term, even though the outcomes are likely to be limited. Wave 3 programs are typically delivered in pairs or individually. While some schools selectively apply some of the PLD programs to wave 3 students, AUSPELD identifies other programs (typically direct instruction programs) that are more likely to have broad effectiveness to this diverse high need group.

PLD’s whole school literacy approach and our variety of support resources can ease the pressure on schools and teachers, and provide the majority with an effective and evidence-based Structured Synthetic Phonics program that ensures all students (Tier 1 & 2) receive quality literacy instruction.

We hope you enjoyed this blog. At PLD we are always available to help you achieve the best possible literacy outcomes for your students. If you have any questions about this blog or anything else we do here at PLD get in touch with us through our chat icon in the bottom right of the screen or to

Updated on: 16/06/2020

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