A Diagnostic Assessor is the unquestionable go-to if any child has more severe or complex learning difficulties...

Diagnostic Assessors are either an Educational Psychologist who have a degree in Psychology first or an OCR Level 7 Dip.

An OCR L7 assessor could be anyone that has completed two previous OCR Dip. courses from any previous type of employment. A Diagnostic Assessor does not have to be a qualified teacher or to have had previous experience working in education. 

They both administer their own selection of licensed psychometric tests in order to assess specific cognitive functions of the child to help determine a formal diagnosis of whether they have a specific learning difficulty. Educational Psychologists have access to different types of *cognitive ability tests that Level 7 Assessors are not able to use, so they can be more suitable for those with complex learning differences.

An evaluation is made of a child’s knowledge and skills in learning and cognitive ability using a selection of licensed psychometric tests and educational assessment methods, so that a programme of support can be put in place by school.

Their multi-page reports will outline if a child is **dyslexic or not; it may show areas of strengths and weaknesses; awareness, information handling, attention, phonological processing, visual motor integration, memory and reasoning, thinking, remembering, knowing, judging and problem-solving, provide a clearer indication of a child's intellectual development and they will offer suggestions on how a school can best support that child.

 

Depending on their findings, it may be used to support an application for Access Arrangements in public examinations, to support an Educational Health Care Plan from a Local Authority or to support disciplinary/dismissal or tribunal activities.  

For many younger Primary children, using the same battery of diagnostic tests can lead to vague results - often without a formal diagnosis - nor specific teaching direction.

*Cognitive ability is defined as a general mental capability involving reasoning, problem solving, planning, abstract thinking, complex idea comprehension and learning from experience (Gottfredson, 1997)

**The average dyslexic child does not qualify for specialist help under the Special Educational Needs Act 2001 if they sit within the mild-moderate range of the dyslexia spectrum.

...however a Diagnostic Assessor has also become the only available option if a child is struggling in the Primary classroom, losing confidence and they’re not keeping up with their peers - this is because there has not been an alternative educational assessment provision for much younger children until now.

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