Assessment  

It is difficult to assess pre-school aged children for dyslexia. For junior school children, a formal assessment can help explain why your child is having difficulties and what to do. 
 
So, if you think your child may be dyslexic and has special educational needs, first contact the ‘SEN co-ordinator’ (SENCO) in his/her school. If the school recognises your child’s difficulties and provides adequate help, then you will not need a formal diagnostic assessment at this time. 
 
For older children, Year 9 is a good time to be assessed. The assessment will be valid for GCSE and A level exams. The assessment may show the Exam Board that your child needs a reader, scribe, laptop or extra time in exams. 
 
If a child goes on to Higher Education, the Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) may be awarded after a Needs Assessment. This can fund assistive technology and extra study skills support. Most Higher Education institutions have in-house support to help students get an assessment, if necessary. 
 
The systems and guidelines regarding assessment in Scotland are different. Dyslexia Scotland have kindly reviewed this section and advise you to check the information on their website or phone their helpline at http://www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/getting-assessed 
 
Jody Rees has written and excellent article on picking the right assessment for your child on her blog, it explains the difference between screening and diagnostic assessment, questions to ask and how to help you feel confident in making the right assessment choice. Click here to read more 
 
 
A full diagnostic assessment can be expensive - well over £400. Some schools have qualified teachers who can carry out basic assessments: this may be enough to get your child the help they need. 
 
However this will depend on how your school views the severity of your child’s needs, as well as the availability of funding for this work. Often help and exam access arrangements for children who are 'just managing' are not funded. You may then decide to get a private assessment for your child. 
 
For detailed advice on how to get funding for assessments, please click on the links to the national organisations below: 
 
 
 
 
In 2014, a new Children and Families Act changed how children (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) receive support in the UK. The old statement system has been replaced with a system called an Education Health and Care plan (EHC). Click here if you want more information about the Act or EHC. 
 
The EHC involves a Needs Assessment and then co-ordinated support for the young person, if necessary. 
 
• Authorities and schools will have to publish documents explaining the support they offer. 
 
• The EHC supports the parents’ right to appeal or express preference for a particular school, if the child is unhappy with their current support. 
 
• It will also give parents and students the offer of a personal budget to buy support. 
Many of the tutors and tutor centres on our support map can also provide assessment. Click here to go to the map and search by post code.  
 
A qualified assessor assessor must hold a Level 7 specialist assessor's qualification such as AMBDA for assessing primary and secondary school pupils or adults and or a Assessment Practising Certificate (APC). An APC is needed for any reports that are going to be submitted as part of a Disabled Student's Allowance application for Higher Education. To check that a specialist teacher is registered click here to search for their name on the SPld Assessment Standards Committee register. To check that an educational psychologist is registered with the Health and Care Professionals council click here.  
 
Dyslexia Action have published a useful and free online guide to explain how to access support . 
To download click here. 
 
For advice from the British Dyslexia Association on obtaining a Statutory Assessment for a Statement of EHC, click here. 
 
Also see www.ipsea.org.uk which provides advice and information about applying for support and appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. 
 
For IPSEA information regarding the acceptance and validity of independent assessment reports by a professional click here 
 
The systems and guidelines regarding assessment in Scotland are different. Dyslexia Scotland have kindly reviewed this section and advise you to check the information on their website or phone their helpline at http://www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/getting-assessed