AN education programme funded by the foundation set up in Sir Sean Connery’s name is already helping children with dyslexia, a local authority has said.

The Sean Connery Foundation paid for an educational initiative which provided specialist teachers and assistants in Edinburgh.

Working in 15 primaries and two secondaries, they developed capacity of staff to help pupils with dyslexia or literary difficulties.

This has resulted in 215 pupils benefiting from the extra support and the wider training programme reaching 175 teaching staff.

A City of Edinburgh Council analysis of the work found children are “flourishing” since the launch of the initiative last August.

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The Edinburgh-born James Bond star was not dyslexic, but his family said learning to read was life-changing for him.

The foundation set up by his family helps a number of programmes in Scotland and the Bahamas – both places he called home.

His son Stephane Connery, who is chairman of the foundation, said: “The single most important event in Sean’s life was learning to read. It opened up his world.

“Sean was very conscious of the stigma that people with dyslexia endure.

“It does a terrible number on their confidence despite the fact that many dyslexic people are truly gifted with fresh, original perspectives.

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“Our hope is that the Sean Connery Dyslexia Initiative helps to unlock this genius, helping students to grow in confidence and thrive in school.”

The council’s education convener, Joan Griffiths, said: “Thanks to this funding from the Sean Connery Foundation and our longstanding partnership with Dyslexia Scotland, we have been able to significantly increase support for learners who benefit most from this targeted work.

“Although we’re still in the early stages of this ground-breaking project, the early results are really encouraging and building on the excellent work already taking place around literacy and dyslexia in our schools.”

The programme is due to continue for another two years.