Dyslexia diagnosis, scientific understandings, and belief in a flat Earth

Event held at University College London, Institute of Education, 31st January 2019

Following comprehensive revision of their assessment and intervention practice guidance for children with reading difficulties, Warwickshire and Staffordshire County Councils were heavily criticised in the House of Lords (30.10.18). Despite the express intention of the authors to assist more children with difficulties, it was suggested that the practice guidance represented an attempt to reduce, rather than increase, SEN services. A statement in the guidance that a dyslexia diagnosis is "scientifically questionable" received a particularly fierce reaction. The fall-out from the Lords publicity resulted in the removal of Warwickshire CC’s practice guidance from its website and challenges in other Local Authorities.


This series of events throws up many questions about professional autonomy, the use of scientific knowledge in developing policy and practice, and the influence of lobby groups. This event has been arranged to highlight and consider some of the key issues.


Confirmed Speakers

 Greg Brooks, Emeritus Professor, University of Sheffield (Conference Chair)

 Jules Daulby (SEN consultant and former Director of Education at the Driver Youth Trust)

 Julian Elliott, Professor of Educational Psychology, Durham University

 Dr. Jonathan Solity, Optima Psychology

 Sarah Crawford, Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist (Cognition & Learning), Warwickshire Educational Psychology Service

 Jo Ward, District Senior Educational Psychologist, Staffordshire County Council

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