I am a volunteer reading helper at a primary school working with Year 3 and 4 pupils. One of my pupils is significantly behind in Reading and Writing. The school has provided phonics coaching and has raised the issue of diagnostic assessment by an educational psychologist with the parents. The parents have refused to give their consent for this. As a newcomer to this field, I am curious to know: do parents have the absolute legal right to prevent assessment of their children for dyslexia? Is this a common occurrence?
My intuition is that this child is one of the 4% of the population who, according to the British Dyslexic Association, have a serious form of dyslexia. The school is well-run and friendly, and my pupil is not currently having any adjustment issues, but I wonder how long this can last. In the worst case scenario, if they arrive at secondary school and the parents still refuse to allow an assessment, what would happen? Can the school override the parents’ wishes? It is hard for me to imagine how the child would cope, educationally and personally, without a diagnosis.