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For Parents

Diagnostic Assessment

You may be concerned that your child is falling behind in School, or perhaps they struggle to perform as well in exams as they do in class. A diagnostic assessment is an assessment of strengths and weaknesses performed by a specialist assessor. The assessments are fully standardised and therefore designed to determine any difficulty in relation to the national population. 

What is a Specialist Assessor?
A Specialist Assessor is a fully qualified  and experienced teacher who has undertaken additional qualifications and training as an assessor to be able to diagnose specific learning difficulties. As a teacher, they are able to offer specific in-class recommendations to teaching staff as an outcome of the assessment. A specialist assessor can also recommend specific access arrangements in external exams as a result of the assessment process.

As a specialist assessor, Pearl is able to identify a number of specific learning difficulties, which may indicate:
  • dyslexia  - difficulties with reading, writing and/or spelling
  • dyscalculia - difficulties with numeration and basic number sense
  • dyspraxia - movement and co-ordination needs
  • language and communication difficulties
  • complex difficulties such as working memory or processing difficulties
Following the assessment, Pearl will discuss her findings with you and will provide a full written report within 2 weeks of the assessment.
Does your child may have any of the following?:
  • difficulty in keeping up with their maths;
  • difficulty in interpreting maths questions and problems;
  • reading difficulties, and you may suspect your child is dyslexic;
  • spelling difficulties;
  • handwriting legibility or speed difficulties;
  • slow reading or writing;
  • difficulty in organising their thoughts in writing;
  • difficulties in remembering information;
  • inconsistencies: may show a discrepancy between verbal and written performance;
  • difficulties understanding what people say;
  • difficulty speaking clearly or speaking in sentences of age-appropriate length and complexity;
  • attention and concentration difficulties; you may be concerned about his/her behaviour;
  • difficulty in remembering things or instructions;
  • organisational or sequencing difficulties, or difficulties with time management;
  • awkward or clumsy movements;
  • low opinion of themselves (self esteem) saying 'I can't do it';
  • other speech, language and communication difficulties;
  • any other learning difficulties which are a concern to you and have not been diagnosed by a clinician or doctor.
The most common public exam concessions/access arrangements include:
  • additional time
  • supervised rest breaks
  • use of a laptop
  • human or computer reader
  • human scribe or computer software
  • modified papers e.g. enlarged script
  • separate invigilation 
  • prompt to aid concentration

A detailed overview of the support available can be found by clicking here.


The initial assessment takes between 2 and 3 hours and can be carried out in the child's home or school. On occasions it is possible for the child to be assessed at Pearl's home. Pearl's reports are accessible and informative. They are written with the purpose of providing evidence for additional support as well as strategies to aid progress and development. They include assessment of strengths and needs, as well as providing recommendations for appropriate support and intervention.

In some cases, it may be appropriate for your child to be referred for additional assessment and support in the form of other agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy or a Specialist Clinician/Doctor. Pearl is able to offer advice as to who to refer your child to and can provide a report to aid referral.