Frequently Asked Questions
What ages do you cover?
We assess children who are 6 years and over, and adults of any age.
How and when do I pay?
We ask for full payment upfront to secure the booking. We can hold provisional bookings for three days and accept payment via bank transfer.
Where does the assessment take place?
All assessments take place in our clinic, unless they are commissioned by the school, in which case they usually take place in the child or young person’s school.
We also offer remote assessments across the UK.
How long does an assessment take?
About 2.5 hours for children, and 2 hours for adults. However, assessment times may vary slightly.
Do you involve the school?
Yes, this is an important part of the process. With your permission we ask the school to complete a background questionnaire.
What happens on the day of assessment?
On arrival, you will be greeted at reception and taken to the assessment room. We spend about 5 to 10 minutes talking through what to expect before starting the assessment.
Can parents watch the assessment?
This is not advised as it affects the standardisation process. We always try to create a warm and relaxed environment to help children feel as settled as possible.
When do I find out the results?
We hold a feedback meeting with parents after the assessment. Children are not permitted to attend the meeting.
When will the report be ready?
The written report takes three weeks.
Will a diagnosis be made?
For young people (17+) and adults we can assess and diagnose the five specific learning difficulties outlined by SASC including dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADHD and dyspraxia.
For children we can assess and diagnose three specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia.
In all cases, a diagnosis will only be made if there is supporting evidence from within the assessment.
Can I submit the report with an EHCP application?
Yes, you can submit the report with your EHCP application. However, please note that we cannot guarantee a successful application. We cannot say before the assessment whether the findings will support an EHCP application. Local Authorities cannot refuse to consider a report from a qualified professional.
Do you attend SEND Tribunals?
We do not offer an ‘expert witness’ service. This means we do not work with lawyers to prepare a case, write tribunal-specific reports (e.g. addressing matters concerning type of school placement), or attend SEND Tribunal hearings. You can check the IPSEA website for more information on appealing to the SEND Tribunal. If you are disputing an EHCP with your local authority you must tell us this before making a booking.
Can my school use the report as evidence for access arrangements (such as extra time in exams)?
Many schools have their own internal arrangements in place for assessing children and young people for access arrangements. Schools can accept reports from external assessors if they have established a ‘working relationship’ with them before the assessment takes place. We fulfil this criteria by asking the school to complete a background questionnaire prior to the appointment. Please bear in mind that we cannot say before the assessment whether the child or young person will be eligible for access arrangements. Whilst we can recommend access arrangements, the school will always make the final decision on whether there is sufficient evidence that the child or young person requires the suggested recommendations in line with JCQ (or equivalent) guidelines.
Will the report be accepted by my child or young person’s school?
Schools cannot refuse to accept a report by a qualified professional. To practice as an Educational Psychologist in the UK you must be registered with the HCPC. Dr Aimee Swithenbank (and all of our associate EPs) are HCPC registered. You can check the register here.