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requests to assess for dyslexia?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by Happyregardless, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Hi I wondered if anyone else had, had requests to assess children for dyslexia or related things?
    Parent has requested this because I have had experience with SEN children, and listed this on my tutoring profile, but I answered that it would be better for them to refer back through school. It sounds like school hasn't screened the pupil because they don't think the pupil has dyslexia. The pupil is bright and learns well, parents are concerned whether they are retaining everything they need to, but compared to other year 6 pupils, they seem 'usual' not behind or anything? Surely, their primary school has been monitoring them since Reception and would have built up a gradual picture of development or any learning issues?

    I've given feedback on anything I've noticed during our online lessons and referred to British Dyslexia site for resources/advice etc, but really would prefer them to refer back to the pupil's school if they want a new assessment or for things to be taken forward in terms of IEPS etc?
    Pupil is in Year 6 already though, so will be moving onto to secondary school, unless the whole system changes in light of Covid etc, so possibly nothing will be done from the Primary School's side of things?

    Anyone else had experience of this and to what extent did you use your skillset outside or working with the school? When working in schools as a class teacher, I would collect evidence of child's learning or any issues with this and then discuss with the SENCO who would then progress it through the SEN system, or not.
    Due to the transition though, I'm not sure if the pupil's primary school have liased with their secondary school etc.and how far does/should a private tutor get involved with this/be expected to be involved with this?
  2. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    I assume it's some time since you were in the classroom. It's rare as hens teeth now to get a school to assess for dyslexia, and if they do it's even rarer for any support re; external help, to be given. IEPs were replaced with EHCP's, once they were introduced the old 'Stages' went. Schools must still have regard for childrens development, but they have to find the first @£6k for support from the schools budget, hence the vicious circle of no assessment because there's no point. It's very, very difficult to actually get an EHC plan, they're only for those with the most extreme needs.

    Parents now tend to fund dyslexia assessments themselves, schools act on the assessments but rarely have expertise within the school to meet the needs. It's down to coloured overlays/rulers, and people having a go at offering support. Some secondary schools may have specialist support available.
  3. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Thanks Phatsals - I knew that 'IEPS' had been replaced with EHCPs just using old terminology, and I've not been 'out of the classroom for a long time' , have been in full time in a variety of schools but have been on supply basis, so various schools do things very differently at times and obviously while you still work with SEND children and their support staff, its not in a referral way as a class teacher would.. For example, some academies employed SENCOS and refer to them who try to get funding, other schools work with 1:1 support with TAS etc Many of the schools I have worked in do have funding for some children, but like you said, you have to show that what you are doing as a school already isn't enough to justify this. I have also seen many children who would probably benefit from funding not get this.
    Surely schools still have to receive funding for pupils who need additional support though?

    I wonder if the secondary school this pupil will go to will offer support - hopefully?
  4. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Yes, but only if it the additional needs add up to over £6k. It tends to go towards those with greatest physical needs, 1:1 care etc. SEN budgets are stretched to the nth degree now, it's dreadful. I've known children to be granted an EHCP but no funding follows, all to be covered within existing budgets. That always existed with IEPs, but on a far smaller scale. Dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD are all left a bit in the wilderness. The benefit of a EHC plan is that it has legal weighting so parents can make a fight for provision, without it there's little or no chance. With secondary schools they do often have units of some sort, but they are also significantly smaller that they were. Many TAs were 'let go' when EHCP's were introduced, apart from those with specific skills, ie VI etc. The other difficulty with this is the children go to them for support, rather than in class, where it's of most use. The other major problem is that they're reviewed every year with a view to reducing support, it makes it very difficult for schools to plan long term. I find it absolutely heart-breaking.
  5. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    There seem to be two issues here. One, the parents suspecting their child is dyslexic. The other is, in more general sense, getting school support for their child's perceived needs.

    Parents can get a private diagnosis through the BDA, but probably get a better (and slightly cheaper) one through the Patoss Tutor Index.

    But @phatsals is quite correct, and unless the student is profoundly below national expectations, they are likely to get any specific support arising from the recommendations given in a diagnostic report. The best they can hope for is small group intervention which may or may not be enough. At the end of Year 6, it seems slightly late in the day for them to have noticed that their child has a problem, and - even without CV-19 - not the best time.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  6. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    unlikely to get specific support :rolleyes:
    Happyregardless likes this.
  7. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    I had to disagree slightly with the other comments. From what you have described it doesn't sound like dyslexia, but yes the parents would need to get the child assessed privately.
    However, I do think that it is worth getting it done as the child may be able to get additional support in exams when they come to do their GCSEs.

    I often support parents at secondary level. I would personally tell the parents to contact the SENCO in September.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  8. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    "At the end of Year 6, it seems slightly late in the day for them to have noticed that their child has a problem, and - even without CV-19 - not the best time"

    Yes, I did mention that ideally dyslexia screening/testing takes place aged 5-6 or as early as possible?
    Thanks for mentioning Patoss Tutor Index - I've just looked at this site and I will give them the link to this

    - yes basically, I recommended if they were still concerned to contact her secondary school SENCO or equivalent in September.

    I have to say, most schools I've been in have had plenty of TAS - seems more TAS than teachers these days, working with certain children, but I'm guessing that depends on individual schools' budgets. Some of these have been academies, so possibly have more money for funding 1:1 TAS.
    Of course there are more children in mainstream than previously.

    I agree, it's unlikely to be dyslexia, but at least I'e tried to be helpful and point them to the right things if they want to pursue this.
  9. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    As a secondary school SENCo I agree that this is a huge issue. Higher up the school we have a few pupils on EHCPs who were transferred to them from the old statement system; the threshold to achieve it was lower but they don’t come with additional funding. To get one now (certainly in my authority) you need to almost be questioning whether they can cope in mainstream at all, and if it’s for SEMH then forget it without a diagnosed condition (and the process for diagnosis for ADHD or ASD is 2 years)....if we had a yr 7 whose parents were concerned about dyslexia we would put them on a list to be screened (their position on the list would be determined by whether teachers were concerned as well) but it’s only screening not a diagnosis, parents need to pay for that. Again where I am, if you pay for one you seem to get one but in terms of school support we are really only looking at additional time in exams and potentially reader / scribe. We do use an online package called IDL which pupils can access at home for additional support too.

    Oh and I’ve got 5 TAs, and 6 pupils whose funding gives them full time 1-1 support. So I’m behind before I start.

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