IDL – Specialist Literacy and Numeracy software for schools

Find out more about IDL Solutions Ltd, a Tes SEN North exhibitor, and their Literacy and Numeracy software.

IDL Literacy is a multi-sensory programme which supports learners with dyslexia and other learning difficulties to increase their reading and spelling ages. The programme was specifically designed for those with dyslexia and is used as an intervention but can also be used effectively as a school-wide literacy solution.

IDL Literacy was created in the mid-1980s by educators working with the Starcross Educational Research Association. In 2012, a programme was funded by the Big Lottery called Lifting Barriers. This allowed IDL to be developed for use within a school environment in conjunction with SENCO leaders. Over a three year period, IDL was placed into 120 primary and secondary schools across the North West of England.

Since its development for use in schools, IDL Literacy has gone from strength to strength and was crowned this year’s winner of the National Association of Special Educational Needs (nasen’s) Effective Technology/ Resource Award.

The program is developed around 5 principles:
  1. Multi-Sensory - using sight, sound touch and voice to create links between the visual, auditory and tactile pathways.
  2. Progress Monitoring – Teachers can see and evidence progress quickly, and are able to identify areas they are struggling with most.
  3. Simple to use – IDL has been designed to be as simple as possible for teachers and pupils, learners can work with no or minimal supervision.
  4. Independent Learning – Pupils can work independently on the program, allowing for larger intervention groups.
  5. Available Anywhere – Pupils and tutors can access from school or at home, on a computer or tablet. The cloud is used to store progress so they can pick up where they left off.

The program is now used by over 2,200 schools in the UK. Pupils on the programme see improvements to reading and spelling ability as well as an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence. Many schools report an increase in pupil engagement and across all areas of school life.

IDL Numeracy is IDL Solutions' most recent development, which was designed for those with dyscalculia and low attaining learners in mathematics. It removes the fog and fuzz around maths and successfully guides children away from maths anxiety into a mindset of can-do and resilience. The programme is highly inclusive and addresses the needs of children with specific learning needs in maths at the right level.

IDL Numeracy includes a fully-graded course to support the National Curriculum for KS1 maths and KS2 maths. The programme was launched in 2017 in response to feedback from our customers. We recognise that dyscalculia is an area that is under-researched and there is a lack of good, effective resources available to assist teachers to help increase the ability of pupils who struggle in many areas of mathematics.

In order to be inclusive, the lessons in IDL are designed to reduce the stress those with dyscalculia or lower level maths ability would ordinarily feel when faced with mathematical problems. After a few hours using IDL, learners will find familiarity with the lessons and because the lesson mechanics remain the same, they gain the confidence they need to tackle problems, even those they have never encountered before.

To find out more about IDL Literacy, IDL Numeracy or to access a free school trial, please visit Stand B21 at TES SEN North. 


Contact: Sarah Rabone,