JCQ 2017 statement on privately commissioned assessment reports

Issued by the Joint Council for Qualifications on 8 August 2017


Effective from 1 September 2017

“A privately commissioned assessment carried out without prior consultation with the centre cannot be used to award access arrangements and cannot be used to process an application using Access Arrangements Online”


What does it mean to parents?


The statement from JCQ means that from 1 September 2017, parents who feel their child requires access arrangements in examinations (such as extra time, a reader or scribe) must consult with their child’s school before arranging a private assessment with an organisation such as The Dyslexia Association.


Before contacting us to arrange an assessment for their child, we advise that parents make an appointment with school so that they can discuss their child’s difficulties with the SENCo / Head Teacher / classroom teachers.


If the school agrees that your child may well have underlying difficulties but that the school is not equipped to provide the in-depth tests for cognitive processing, a private assessment may well be the fastest way to investigate this. Parents should then contact us to book their child in for an assessment with a qualified specialist assessor teacher who holds a current practising certificate.


If your child changes school or moves to a further education college, we will endeavour to establish a working relationship with colleagues there.




The school or exam centre must have identified the potential need and started to gather supporting evidence of any difficulties from the child’s teachers before the assessment takes place.


If there is no record of need within the school, any assessment will be used to:


  • – measure the child’s strengths and difficulties,
  • – investigate the impact this has on their learning,
  • – provide advice and recommendations both to the parents and to those involved with teaching the child.


There is no longer a requirement for the centre/school to act upon the recommendations; they may or may not take them into consideration according to the resources available to them.


What happens if school won’t accept an external assessment?


There is still value in obtaining a diagnostic assessment for your child because it will provide a profile of the child’s strengths and weaknesses and of course a diagnosis of dyslexia (or related specific learning difficulties) where appropriate, however school are under no obligation to act upon any recommendations made in the report.


Need further information?


Please contact our Helpline on 0115 924 6888 or helpline@dyslexia.uk.net