Statement of special educational needs

While about 10% of students have dyslexia, only 3% have a statement of educational special needs.
It is not necessary to be statemented in order to have your dyslexia corrected by us, but we strongly recommend that you do so if you want special need support from your school.

This is because if you want to get statemented after working with us you might not qualify for special needs support, simply because your symptoms are likely to have reduced significantly.

If you already have been statemented or you want to explore the Davis correction procedure without bothering with getting statemented, you can go straight for a Davis assessment.

We do not provide a statement of disability, but if you read on you should get some clarity about how to achieve this.

statement of special educational needs is a legal document issued by a local education authority. The document names a particular child, describes his or her special educational needs and sets out the special educational provision he or she should receive.

Learning difficulty and special educational needs.

The 1996 Education Act states that a child has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child is held to have a ‘learning difficulty’ if it fits one of the following crietria:

• He or she has a greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.

• He or she has a disability that prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities generally available in local schools

• He or she is aged under five and is likely to fall into one of the first two groups when over that age.

Special educational needs may or may not be of a degree of severity or complexity that requires a statement to be made.

A statement can be hard to come by. Of the 10% dyslexics that are estimated to be in education, only a third have a statement. They are only issued when a child’s needs are so severe or complex that it is necessary for the local education authority to determine the special provision.

There are essentially three routes you can take in order to achieve a statement:

1. Ask your school to assess your child’s educational needs.

Cost: Free.

This is only possible if your school has a member of staff qualified to assess educational needs, or if your school is willing to request this from your LEA (Local Education Authority) on your behalf.

Teachers who assess dyslexia should hold a qualification which is recognised by the British Dyslexia Association’s (BDA) Accreditation Board.

2. Write to your LEA and ask for your child to be assessed for educational needs.

Cost: Free.

If parents feel that it is best to get their child tested for dyslexia, they can write to the Local Education Authority (LEA) themselves and request a free ’statutory assessment’.

The LEA has six weeks to make a decision and it must comply with the request unless, having examined the evidence they believe it’s not necessary.

If the parents disagree with the LEA’s decision they have a legal right to appeal to an independent, special educational needs tribunal (SENT).

3. Get an independent education psychologist to assess your child for special educational needs.

Cost: £3-400.

This does not officially substitute a Statement, but some schools will treat this sort of assessment a bit like if it was a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

At the very least this will be a good resource for you in order to put pressure on the proper authorities to issue a statement.

We do not provide this ourselves, but there is a great number of psychologists offering this service. One consultancy which we have had a very good experience of and feel we can recommend is Child Consultants in Harley Street. Dyslexia Action also offers this kind of assessment.