SASC Consultations

SASC Consultations

SASC Consultation: Dyslexia 

Timetable of the SASC consultation process to consider issues concerning the assessment and identification of dyslexia.

January 2021 First phase:
SASC initiated a wide-ranging consultation process to consider issues concerning the assessment and identification of dyslexia.

  • Creation of a working group, comprised of academics and practitioners, brought together to facilitate discussion and interaction between academics and assessment practitioners, including specialist assessors, psychologists and those who had personal and/or family experience of dyslexia.
  • Parallel online consultation with a group of assessment practitioners, and special educational needs and disability services managers in schools and higher education. This focused on issues around effective assessment for intervention and support in schools, colleges and universities. 
  • Draft consultation paper written.

Second phase:

A second consultation phase involved both the initial working group and a wider body of consultants in commenting and advising on changes and amendments to an initial draft of a consultation paper.

April 2022 Third Phase: 

SASC Consultation Paper launched:
Full Paper April 2022: The identification of and effective intervention for literacy difficulties in children and adults. Implications for the assessment of dyslexia.

and Summary Consultation Paper April 2022. 

April to May 2022: A SASC survey gathered 407 responses to this paper. 

June 2022: Results published: Consultation Survey Results 2022

June 2022: Presentation made at the annual SASC Conference:
Practitioners respond: views from the third consultation phase of the SASC paper on literacy and dyslexia: Caroline Holden,SASC Board Member and Chair of SASC's Dyslexia Working Group

July 2022: SASC Responds to Department for Education (DfE) and Department of Health and Social Care publish consultation green paper:
SEND Review: Right support, right place, right time


Fourth Phase: October to December 2022

key issues arising from responses to the paper were discussed with a group of 50 assessment practitioners, academics and representatives from stake-holding organisations, at a series of six online 90-minute structured discussions. Among the themes discussed were a definition and identification criteria for dyslexia and key current issues in both pre and post 16 years assessment. Summaries of these meetings were presented to the SASC Board in January 2023.

Final report due: Autumn 2023

The SASC consultation on dyslexia will set priorities for SASC policy discussions.
A final paper will be produced, with a particular emphasis on refining the proposed definition and identification criteria for dyslexia. The paper will be re-written in three parts: Theory, Policy, Practice, with a short summary document that covers all three sections. The revision of the paper will take into account commentary from the consultation survey's qualitative and quantitative data and feedback from the structured discussions. While the initial plan was to produce this paper by April 2023, SASC will now delay this publication for a few further months: This is so that it can also take into account two important developments:

  • A newly initiated Delphi consensus study will aim to reach consensus around a definition and identification criteria for dyslexia. This study will be led by Professor Maggie Snowling (Oxford University), Professor Julia Carroll (Coventry University), Paul Thompson (Warwick University) and Lynn Greenwold and Caroline Holden (Chair and Vice-Chair of SASC).
  • 60+ academics, practitioners (including psychologists and specialist assessors), representatives from stake-holding organisations and other interested individuals across the UK, Europe and internationally, will be invited to take part. We aim to conclude the study in no longer than six months but hope that this study will represent the best possible UK, European and international consensus statements on these issues.
  • Further work arising from the Specific Learning Difficulties Network SLDN headed by Michelle Luciano of Edinburgh University ( and Sylvia Parrachini of St Andrews University ( Leading the SLDN terminology working group are Kinga Morsanyi ( and Joel Talcott ( The network has discussed the SASC consultation and has set, as a priority, a mission to achieve agreement over definitions of SpLDs.

SASC hopes to conclude this important consultation and to produce further guidance for assessors on a definition and identification criteria for dyslexia by autumn 2023. The SASC consultation has also prompted important discussions about the current pre and post-16 report formats, about SASC's role in providing policy advice and guidance to the DfE, Student Finance England and the Student Loans Company (SLC) and about other guidance it can usefully offer to assessors. These discussions are ongoing and any changes to current advice and guidance will be reported as soon as they are confirmed.



SASC Consultation and Response to the SEND Review

March 2022: Department for Education (DfE) and Department of Health and Social Care publish consultation green paper:
SEND Review: Right support, right place, right time

April 2022: SASC invited all interested individuals and organisations to respond to a consultation paper via an online survey.

June 2022 SASC Conference: Professor Brian Lamb presentation: The Implications of the SEND Green Paper
and Education White Paper for assessment, intervention, support and parental engagement for children with dyslexia and SpLD

July 2022: SASC Response to SEND Green Paper.

March 2023: DfE publish Analysis of the consultation responses to the SEND review:right support, right
place, right time

March 2023: HM Government publish Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan: Right Support, Right Place, Right Time