Maple Hayes is a specialist school for children aged 7 to 17 with Specific Learning Difficulties or Dyslexia. All pupils have had great difficulty learning to read and write. Many pupils have statements or EHC plans and are placed by 16 Midlands Local Authorities. Typically, pupils come to Maple Hayes from primary schools (year 5 or 6) when it is clear that they have not made enough progress to cope with the upcoming secondary school curriculum. Others start at secondary school (year 7) but struggle so much that they need a specialist placement. The school is inspected by Ofsted. Maple Hayes specialises in a unique morphological approach to literacy learning which is completely different to the rote-phonic approach they were previously struggling with. This programme is uniquely and fully integrated by trained staff into a balanced academic curriculum. Entry is by an assessment, interview and free trial week.
Principal - Dr Neville E Brown PhD MSc BA MINS MSCME AFBPsS CPsychol
Dr Brown has worked tirelessly throughout his career in making the lives of children with dyslexia not only manageable, but also giving them the confidence to thrive in the world beyond education once leaving his groundbreaking school.
Dr Brown is one of Britain’s most significant figures within his area of expertise - the research and teaching of children with dyslexia. He has dedicated his life to ensuring every child attending Maple Hayes Dyslexia School is given the right tools to succeed in a caring, understanding and nurturing environment while unlocking their abilities.
Although Dr Brown is beyond usual retirement age, he is still principal of the school and its related charity, The Foundation for the Education of the Underachieving and Dyslexic. His dedication was marked last year with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Dyslexia Association.
In 2008 Dr Brown was voted ITV’s Midlands Teacher of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards.
Dr Brown trained and worked as a teacher before developing his academic interest in children’s literacy and learning problems. His early academic work on the specific treatment of hyperactive and learning disordered children in 1980 was published by NATO and gained international acclaim. He was invited by NATO to deliver papers on this subject in Canada and subsequently offered the opportunity to head up a research centre in New Jersey, USA. After careful consideration Dr Brown decided that his research could be put to better, practical use in the UK and instead, alongside his normal teaching duties, launched the Lichfield Dyslexia Clinic.
Dr Brown’s vision for teaching dyslexic children was that literacy lessons should be part of the normal curriculum, so that no child would miss lessons or feel isolated because of their difficulty.
Supported by his wife Brenda, the couple have used their home and savings as collateral, and with the backing of academic references supporting his theories and the value of his work, helped launch the school.
Headmaster - Dr Daryl J Brown DPhil MEd (Psychology of SpLD) MA (Oxon) PGCE
The son of Dr Neville Brown, Dr Daryl Brown has dedicated his life to teaching and guiding those with dyslexia through their school years with an alternative approach to teaching literacy.
Dr Brown studied Geology at Oxford and completed his teacher training at Birmingham University. He then returned to Oxford to complete a doctorate in Geology before returning to Maple Hayes to teach. He has a Master’s degree in the Psychology of Specific Learning Difficulties and took on the role of headteacher of the school in 2001 to help his father. Alongside Dr Brown senior, he has been working on the Dictionary of Morphemes* and through their studies, the duo have already mapped out around 49,800 words formed from 3,713 morphemes.
Dr Daryl Brown, who is a member of the British Psychological Society, has two children Alistair and Imogen. He enjoys, and can teach, horse riding, and is also a keen sailor.
*A morpheme is a ‘meaning unit’ within a word