Shadow minister for Public Health Sharon Hodgson MP has been elected as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties.

Sharon, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and former Shadow for Children and Families, takes the helm of this influential cross-party group of MPs and Peers from former Chair, Kelvin Hopkins MP.

Commenting on her new post, Sharon said: “Following my own personal experiences as a mother of a child with severe dyslexia and campaigning throughout my time as a Member of Parliament on special educational needs and disability issues, both from the backbenches and on the frontbench, I am honoured that my fellow Parliamentarians have put their trust in me to continue the excellent work of the out-going Chair, Kelvin Hopkins and chair this cross-party group.

“Supporting children, young people and adults with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties has always been a cause close to my heart. Whilst there have been some important steps forward in provision in recent years, especially for children and young people with the roll-out of reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014, there is still a need to make sure that these reforms are ensuring that children and young people are getting the best deal possible to ensure they can grow up to be successful adults, and I hope to push forward on this agenda as Chair of this important APPG.”

Dyslexia Action is the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dyslexia and other SpLDs, whose members consist of MPs and Peers who want to keep up-to-date with issues affecting children, young people and adults with specific learning difficulties including dyslexia.

The group is committed to understanding learning difficulties including dyslexia across the UK and to keep Government appraised of the situation in schools and education in general. The group, which must meet at least twice during its reporting year (as from 2015), also looks at what statutory and non-statutory bodies are achieving in this field.

Further details about the group including officers, agendas and minutes can be found on Dyslexia Action’s designated APPG page.