Specialist Education Assessments

Act on Dyslexia is able to provide a wide range of assessments to suit individual needs.  Assessment is like a ‘journey of discovery’ where information is collected which can facilitate successful learning.

Education Assessments

An effective assessment is a useful tool which can empower individuals on their educational journey. It will offer a diagnosis with practical advice to understanding some of the barriers that may hinder progress. We believe that an assessment can ‘open the door to achievement,’ success and self-belief.

We place the individual at the heart of the assessment process by understanding each person as individuals. The child, young person or adult is actively involved every step of the way.

Depending on the individual needs, there are times when outside agencies are required. Further assessments may be recommended including Optometrists, Health and Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language therapists.
We work collaboratively with fellow professionals, parents, carers and employers regarding concerns relating to educational progress.

Our assessments are all carried out by suitably qualified specialist teachers who hold qualifications in the following:
Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) leading to qualified teacher status (QTS)
Post Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia and Literacy
Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET)
SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate (APC)

Additionally, our assessors are able to provide assessments for Disabled students Allowance (DSA) and exam access arrangements.

Why have an assessment?

The diagnostic assessment aims to identify and diagnose areas of difficulty including cognitive developmental weaknesses whilst also focusing on strengths. We consider current attainment and progress in numeracy and literacy and use this to build a profile that will support the individual’s leaning.

Assessment will help to uncover the nature and cause of the difficulties the individual may be experiencing. Once a learning difference is identified, focused support can follow which can help to improve things. A diagnostic assessment report outlines the results of the findings by explaining the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the report sets clear recommendations for moving forward.

An assessment might also be requested to meet legal obligations under the Equality Act, or to provide evidence of disability. Assessments can determine the need for access arrangements in examinations.

More Information about Specialist Education Assessment.

The Early years

To ensure children have a secure start in their education, the statutory framework of the Early years Foundation Stage (EYFS) places prominence between parents and professionals.  During these years practitioners have the difficulty of defining which behaviours are developmental and which signal the potential of those at risk of dyslexia. It is for this reason the findings of the assessment report may be less conclusive.   It may be considered more appropriate that targeted support may be more conducive for the child’s needs until such times that the assessment report is more reliable.

The Primary Years (Key Stages 1 and 2)

During the primary phase of education every child is expected to have mastered functional and fluent skills in literacy. The statutory monitoring processes in schools ensures the identification of those who might be exhibiting potential difficulties.. The Rose Report (2009), places an emphasis on those children who are not achieving as expected despite support and intervention.

An individual assessment can make the necessary adjustments by identifying the additional support needed with effective recommendations. Additionally, a report will help to establish effective learning strategies for use in the school, classroom and home.

Our comprehensive, detailed Specialist Educational Assessments are suitable for school age children from the age of 7 years.
An assessment will identify Specific learning differences (SpLD) including dyslexia and dyspraxia.

The SEND Code of Practice (2014) contains details of legal requirements that local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges must provide for those with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
It states that children are entitled to:

> the right to an education that enables them to make progress
> have their needs met. – Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities should have appropriate support
> involve parents, children and local authorities in their decisions about SEN support

This give parents a real say in decisions that affect their children and offers ways to challenge any decisions they disagree with.

The Secondary Years

The transition to secondary level in education brings with it new challenges for those children who may have a self-awareness of feeling or knowing that they are not achieving in line with their peers. For many, they simply cannot access the curriculum effectively however hard they work. Those who may have managed in the Primary Stage may now find their specific difficulties emerge more prominently as they try and cope with the new demands expected of them.

GCSE & A Level Exam Access Arrangements

The Equality Act, (2010) was introduced to ensure those with dyslexia/SpLD’s are given the same opportunity as their peers and receive the necessary requirements they need and deserve. 
Different examination bodies have different requirements such as the type of evidence required for special arrangements and that the reasons are justified.

Exam Access Arrangements

There are a range of Access Arrangements and Special Considerations for External Exams. These might include:

> Extra time in exams
> Reader or a scribe
> A separate room
> Use of a computer

Act On Dyslexia offer Exam Access Arrangements assessments and advice for individuals who may need specific arrangements made during their exams at school or college.
Further Education

There are particular considerations for individuals in further education and universities. Under current legislation, those with dyslexia and other related learning differences are entitled to special arrangements to give them a more equal opportunity in exams.
The focus is on the individual’s needs, what they would be entitled to and how to access support. Different examining bodies require evidence that such ‘reasonable adjustments’ are justified.
Act on Dyslexia offers Exam Access Arrangements assessments with advice as to how these can be implemented to help them with exams at school, college, university or in professional development.