New students with dyslexia/SpLD

  • Creating an Inclusive Support Plan (ISP) 

    To access support and exam arrangements, you need an ISP.

    Before you arrive:

    • Send us your diagnostic assessment.
    • Check that your report was acceptable. Did you receive an email from a Dyslexia/SpLD Adviser confirming that it met the criteria?
    • Apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA).

    Your dyslexia/SpLD assessment

    You are strongly advised to have an up-to-date assessment for dyslexia or your specific learning difficulty before you begin university.

    It is important that the assessment report meets the criteria (see below). There are several ways to go about getting an assessment:

    • go back to the psychologist/specialist tutor who carried out your original assessment and ask for an update
    • contact your school/college and ask them to arrange an assessment
    • contact an assessor recommended by Oxford Brookes

    If you are already a current student (you are enrolled on a course at Oxford Brookes but have not yet had an assessment), please refer to our page: Support while you're studying - assessment for dyslexia/SpLD.

    Assessment criteria

    In accordance with government guidelines, the assessment should have been carried out by a chartered psychologist, clinical or educational psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council or specialist tutor with a current practising certificate, and should contain:

    • Detailed information about the tests used, with ceilings, age range, results, conclusions.
    • Tests of cognitive ability/processing, general underlying ability and attainment, the results of which indicate dyslexia/SpLD.
    • Discussion of the impact of dyslexia/SpLD on the student's performance in Higher Education.

    Assessments must comply with the guidelines set out by the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee.  

    If you are providing a recent letter from a GP or Specialist as evidence of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD / ADHD), the letter must show how your daily life and studies are affected and explain the effects are long-term. The letter should also include recommendations for support or adjustments for studying at university.

    DSA during Covid-19

    Full diagnostic assessment for a specific learning difficulty

    Government guidance on social distancing during the Covid-19 situation and the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions mean that some face-to-face assessment will be possible.

    There is no online alternative to a face-to face assessment for specific learning difficulties. Therefore, any assessment conducted online that gives a diagnostic of specific learning difficulties will not be accepted for Higher Education (HE) purposes.  

    Remote evaluation of need

    If you are not able to have a socially-distanced, face-to-face diagnostic assessment for specific learning difficulties, some assessors are also offering a ‘Remote Evaluation of Need’ online until 31 December 2020.

    This evaluation of need will not provide a diagnosis of specific learning difficulties, but it can be accepted by Oxford Brookes (an ISP can be created) and it can be used as evidence to apply for the DSA.

    New students: Registering for support

    Catherine Black, Specialist Tutor for Students with Dyslexia/SpLD talks through a flow chart explaining what you need to do before you start your course to ensure you can access the support you may need.