Level 7 Diploma in Teaching and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia, Specific Learning Differences and Barriers to Literacy
Dyslexia Herts was established in 2011 and has many years’ experience in delivering high quality training. Our courses have been commended by our students and awarding bodies for our supportive and developmental learning environment.
The Level 7 Diploma in Teaching and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia, Specific Learning Differences and Barriers to Literacy is accredited by Gateway Qualifications and recognised by the British Dyslexia Association and PATOSS.
This 1 year nationally accredited qualification is suitable for experienced specialist teachers with a Level 5 qualification in Dyslexia/ Specific Learning Differences who wish to develop their skills & become a specialist teacher/ assessor.
Studying with Us
When you gain the Level 7 Diploma you are able to assess across all age ranges. Studying with Dyslexia Herts will enable you to develop your skills and build your confidence to work with children, young, people and adults. Our specialist tutors can provide guidance to help you broaden your understanding and are there to guide and support you on the way.
We believe that the course is one that is both academic and also very practical- to be a specialist assessor you need to be able to think on your feet, be a good communicator and have the skills to be able to support learners with specific learning differences and understand the challenges they may face at different times in their lives.
Our face to face days will give you opportunities to practice your skills in administering tests and spend time with other professionals working in very different settings from you and all learning from each other. Our online sessions are all live interactive sessions with break-out rooms for practical group activities.
Our specialist assessors and the tutors on the Level 7 Diploma are highly qualified and have a wealth of experience working within the field of dyslexia and specific learning differences.
They are current practitioners and experienced trainers with up to date knowledge across the entire age range, working within primary, secondary, further, and higher education and with adults in the workplace.
About the course
Who is the Level 7 Diploma course for?
The course that we offer is for experienced specialist teachers with a Level 5 qualification in Dyslexia/ Specific Learning Differences. Ideally, this should have been completed within the last 3 years. Candidates who completed their Level 5 qualification longer ago than this may be asked to provide further evidence of their continuing professional development and teaching experience since qualifying.
Candidates may be working as:
SENCOs/ Inclusion Managers
Learning Support tutors
Speech and language therapists
Other professionals working within an educational setting.
Candidates who do not hold a Level 5 qualification in supporting learners with SpLD may need to complete this course first. However, we appreciate that our candidates may have extensive experience within dyslexia and SpLDs or have gained other relevant qualifications- please contact us to discuss the best route for you.
What our attendees say about the course
Interpretation of assessments and discussion of profiles is really helpful.
The learning has been huge. It gives you an excellent overview of many concepts.
Practicing tests in person is so helpful.
The online lessons and attendance days are great. Listening to the tutors and being encouraged to work with other students has been so beneficial. I am also really enjoying how all of the directed study tasks feed into the assignments. It helps to keep me on track to ensure I am reading and researching the correct areas.
One of the best things is having the opportunity to find out about the different tests through the sessions and also practice time with each other. The initial sessions have linked well and helped me to start thinking differently about the assessment process including the importance of background information and the many other factors that need to be taken into consideration. It has been great to be part of a small group so we can all support each other and ask questions during sessions.
The learning has been huge. It gives you an excellent overview of many concepts.
I am really enjoying working with very experienced and knowledgeable tutors. Also, having a mix of face to face and online support that has enabled students to have a support network too. Individual tutor support being available has also been helpful when things have become more challenging.
The best thing about the course is the tutor feedback.
The course has built on my existing knowledge and skills and developed them. Supportive tutors and a very supportive peer group.
I find tutors on the course are supportive, encouraging and also respectful of my prior knowledge which makes for very positive relationships. I have found tutors quick to respond when I have queries. The course does feel very intense. I'm not sure I appreciated this beforehand. I'm sure the 'full on' nature of the course was explained to us, but until you are doing it, it's hard to comprehend exactly what this will mean. Overall, however, I have found the course to be fascinating. After six months I do feel upskilled and this feeds into my work every day. Only this week I was talking to a colleague about Sternberg's view that intelligence is not necessarily linked to speed of processing. She was so interested that she is using quotes I supplied from my Unit 2 review research in an INSET on to staff.
What will I learn?
This course will equip you with the underpinning theoretical knowledge and practical skills you will need to become a specialist teacher/ assessor and to broaden your knowledge of working with learners with dyslexia and associated specific learning differences.
The course will teach you to administer standardised tests and write diagnostic assessment reports for specific learning differences, which make recommendations to move learning forward, inform specialist teaching programmes and advise on access arrangements in examinations.
You will complete one teaching practice and be observed and supported by tutors as you teach learners with more complex profiles.
How will I learn?
We believe that it is important for our students to meet regularly with others who are working in a range of different settings and learn from working collaboratively with each other. The Level 7 Diploma is a Masters Level course but also involves practical activities, and you will benefit from face to face time spent reviewing the range of assessment materials available and being able to practice using them in a supportive environment.
Our course offers a combination of online and taught sessions which will include live online or face to face lectures and workshops, tutorials, discussion groups, directed study, research and practical, hands-on sessions working with resources and assessment materials. You will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment and a discussion forum.
Becoming a Specialist teacher/ Assessor
The SEND White Paper (2022) emphasises the need for early and accurate identification of needs, high quality teaching and prompt access to targeted support where it is needed.
Specialist teacher/ assessors have a vital role to play in training classroom teachers to harness the child’s interests, talents and abilities and enable them to engage fully and enjoy learning. They can also work with teaching assistants on how to support children with developmental reading & literacy difficulties.
A specialist assessor with APC will be able to carry out assessments for learners before their difficulties present barriers to learning and impact on their self-esteem and motivation to learn and can plan targeted learning programmes to meet their needs. The APC will mean you can also assess for access arrangements approved by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).
University and the Workplace
In Higher Education or the workplace, specialist teacher/ assessors can provide diagnostic assessments to enable individuals to understand more about how they work and learn and to access support and assistive technology.
Their specialist skills and training enables them to understand the particular barriers to learning experienced by students or employees and to work individually with them to develop strategies and increase confidence and independence, while enabling the student/ employee to lead the process.
Training with Us
Training with Dyslexia Herts and gaining the Level 7 Diploma can lead you to many different careers within the field of specific learning differences and provides an exciting opportunity to progress to job roles that require the ability to:
Carry out diagnostic assessments for Specific Learning Differences and write assessment reports on learners’ educational needs to inform local authorities, other professionals, learners, and parents/carers.
Carry out assessments for children, young people and adults and write reports advising on schools, colleges, local authorities and awarding bodies.
Take an advisory role with regard to school/college policies for both inclusion and effective teaching of learners with specific learning differences.
Work more flexibly as a freelance specialist tutor/ assessor.
Candidates will also be able to apply for an Assessment Practising Certificate (APC).
Training with Dyslexia Herts will mean that you will have the knowledge and skills you need to provide high-quality support and write reports to a high standard so that, once qualified, you are well-equipped to work in this rewarding field.
Feedback from our Awarding Body
“This is a very good centre with a carefully selected and supportive team of staff. There is a high ratio of staff to candidates. Work is assessed in strict accordance with the criteria set by Gateway and the Professional Associations. There is a clear understanding of course criteria and also of the academic rigour one would expect in a level 7 course.”
“Candidates have a good opportunity before the start of the course to flag up any additional needs, and these are factored in by allowing extra time and support. If and when these needs emerge during the course, they are responded to in a flexible manner.”
“Feedback from assessors to learners is supportive and unambiguous and provides candidates with expert guidance. The centre has good and up to date resources and there is clear evidence of staff being aware of any changes in this field of work and of implementing new SASC guidelines immediately.”
“The feedback at this centre is clear and enables learners to understand precisely what is required of them.”
Introduction to diagnostic assessment – preparing to assess
Explore the principles of psychometric testing
Begin background reading for extended essay on key theoretical concepts relating to your chosen specialist area
Research assessment materials, read test manuals, practice tests and gain information from wider reading on psychometric testing
Practice administering & scoring tests and writing up findings
Case studies and discussion of different SpLD profiles
Develop report-writing skills
Explore co-occurring difficulties and complex SpLD profiles
Gain confidence in report-writing through group tasks and activities
Develop an understanding of recommendations for learners across different stages of education or individuals in the workplace
Find out more about resources that are available to support learning, including assistive technology
Plan, assess and write 2 formal diagnostic assessment reports
Write a review on psychometric testing
Prepare to teach
Plan & deliver teaching programme
Focus on access arrangements
Plan, assess and write 1 formal diagnostic assessment report
Submit extended essay & deliver a presentation on your chosen specialist area
Completion of portfolio with tutorial support
The course runs over three terms and is a blend of live webinars and attendance days over the year and tutorial support (both face to face and online). We also have a Moodle site (Virtual Learning Environment) where you can access course handouts and resources and submit work.
Our next start date will be January 2024. We are open for applications.
The 4 attendance days are held on 1 Saturday a month in February, March, April and May from 9.30 – 5.00
The course will begin with a series of live webinars, and taught sessions which are held on Saturdays at:
Pennyroyal Court, Station Road Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 5QY
Depending on course numbers your sessions may be held at another location in the Hertfordshire area.
This course requires self-managed study. We understand that most of our students will be studying alongside work and busy lives and have all been there ourselves and really appreciate the challenges this can bring.
We would suggest you allow roughly one day a week for your studies. Of course, we all work and learn in different ways, and this will vary from one person to the next.
We know that there are times when things do not go as planned and circumstances mean a student cannot complete the course within timescales. We will be flexible and discuss alternatives with you.
Fees & Funding
Fees are currently £4395 plus VAT
Candidates are either fully or partially funded by their school/college, local authority or self-fund. We are able to split the cost into 4 instalments spread over the year. Payments can also be made by Debit/Credit card.
If a school/ college is paying for the course the VAT (20%) can be offset
To find out more please book an appointment or contact us by email
To apply please complete our course application form. We will get in touch to arrange to meet you.
If you are interested in joining here are some key texts from our reading lists:
Castiglione, L., (2023). Assessing the Need for Access Arrangements During Examinations. 7th Edition, Worcester: PATOSS
Jones, A., Kindersley, K., (2013) Dyslexia: Assessing and Reporting. The Patoss Guide. London: Hodder
Kelly, K., and Phillips, S., (2018) Assessment of Learners with Dyslexic-Type Difficulties. London: Sage
Muter, V., (2021). Understanding and Supporting Children with Literacy Difficulties; a Practitioners’ Guide, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Reid, G. and Guise, J. (2017). The Dyslexia Assessment. London: Bloomsbury.
Sternberg, R.J. (2020). Human Intelligence: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press Cambridge