Post School Transition
The transition from secondary school to post school can be daunting for young people with dyslexia and their families. In cases where dyslexia is a significant additional support need, transition planning must begin no later than 12 months before they leave school and it is often the case that transition support begins earlier as highlighted in the 2010 Code of Practice.
The Scottish Government aims to ensure that all young people have a positive destination and a range of professionals work with schools to support this.
It is very important that the assessment information gathered by staff in school over the years is given to the young person and they understand the value of the report so they can use this when discussing their support needs in post school situations.
Post School Identification and Support
The criteria involved in providing a post school identification of dyslexia is different from a young person who is attending school in Scotland, therefore it is important that the information gathered at school is made available to the young person before leaving.
Post school Independent Assessments are carried out by practitioners who hold specific qualifications which are not required for teachers in Scottish schools. Independent assessors usually charge for this service.
Employers are not obliged to help with the cost of an assessment but often recognise the benefits an assessment can have for the company and their employee. Support in the workplace is available through the Access to Work programme, arranged through the Job Centre.
Students in Further or higher education
Colleges and Universities have a duty under the UK wide Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’, to ensure that students with disabilities are not placed at a disadvantage in comparison to non-disabled students.
This is an anticipatory duty which means that education providers should continually review and anticipate the general needs of disabled people, rather than simply waiting until an individual requests a particular adjustment.
Students might also be able to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), through Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS). An assessment is required to access the grant funding. The assessment has to meet a set of criteria and must be carried out by appropriately qualified practitioners - Educational Psychologists or dyslexia specialists.
An Independent Assessment is not required prior to course entry at college or university, particularly if an appropriate assessment has been carried out in school by a qualified individual. If an assessment has been carried out in school, and updated around the age of 16, then many Universities will accept that as proof of dyslexia without the need for any independent, paying assessment. If an assessment is not in place prior to the start of the course this can lead to a delay in support and assessment arrangements being in place. The contextualised assessment, carried out by a non-qualified SfL, will not generally be acceptable.
In summary the entitlement to assessment and identification of dyslexia differs between school and post school due to the different systems which have been developed for different settings and age groups.