A Diagnostic Assessor is the unquestionable go-to if a child has more severe or complex learning difficulties in order to get a formal... 

Diagnostic Assessors are:


Educational Psychologists

registered with a professional body.

This is the scientific study of human learning.


Specialist Teacher Assessors

OCR Level 7 Dip. in Teaching and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia/SpLD

Holds an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC)

In order to become an Educational Psychologist you have to have a degree in Psychology

first. An OCR Level 7 Assessor could be anyone who has completed the three courses leading up to to this diploma. 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.

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 Diagnostic Assessors have 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 Primary children...until now!

Jo has:


BA (Hons) B.Ed Primary | 1994

DFE Certified

Qualified Teaching Status

since 1994

Registered with DFE Teaching Regulatory Agency

since 1994

OCR Level 5 Dip. Primary | 2016

Teaching Learners with Dyslexia/SpLD


SpLD Qualified Teaching Status

since 2016


PATOSS Associate

since 2016

NASEN Member

since 2016

With 27-years of professional experience in independent and state Primary education, Jo can appreciate and identify what SENDCOs need in order to support teachers so that they can plan and teach the children who display mild to moderate difficulties under their care. The assessment results and evidence can also be used to support a formal


Her background includes:

•  Senior Management and Head of Year in Lower KS1 to Upper KS2.

•  Form Teacher; Class Teacher & core subject teacher (English, Maths & Science)

•  The ability to simplify Educational Psychologist Reports in to a 2-page document.

•  Specialist Non-Diagnostic Assessor for Primary children.

•  External 1 : 1 Specialist Teacher for Primary children.

•  External 1 : 1 teacher for Primary children with English as a second language/ESL.

•  Supply Teacher to Independent and State schools.

•  Preparing children for SATS, Common Entrance and scholarships for 11+ and 13+.


Every outcome from every LEARN OUT OF THE BOX assessment is unique, and unlike diagnostic reports, it uncovers the missing micro-gaps in Primary Maths and English - the foundation subjects of every child's education. More often than not, their struggles have nothing to do with their current age or year group.

For children with mild to moderate difficulties to learn, they would not meet the criteria for formal diagnostic intervention, however they are a large group of children who fall through the net by not having their educational needs met because people do not know what they are. This assessment will show exactly what is needed to be included in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in order to plan and teach that specific child to success.


For children who have severe or complex learning difficulties the assessment results and evidence can be used to support a school's official application to a local Council if they need more support than their school provides.

With her years of experience, observations and analysis of results, Jo then produces a  1-page Summary Report - a working document - specifically designed for Primary Teachers,

Specialist Teachers or qualified SEN TAs so that they can easily recognise the the exact micro-gaps missing in a child's learning journey, enabling a teacher to plan and teach that child for success, therefore helping them to rebuild the essential foundations missing from their formative years.

*The Non-Diagnostic Assessment covers reading, reading comprehension, writing, spelling, handwriting, phonological awareness, verbal, aural, working & short-term memory, number and place value, number facts, addition and subtraction & multiplication and division. 

Jo's provision is endorsed by: 

The Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce; The Rother Valley Inclusion Hublocal Primary Heads & their SENCOs; local tutors and by word of mouth.

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