Educational psychologists have been involved in writing and submitting reports to schools and other institutions about pupils thought to have specific learning difficulties ever since the profession began. Many of these reports found their way to the examining boards prior to a pupil entering or taking a public examination, some with and others without. the psychologist's knowledge. Consequently there were no clear and systematic data on the use of psychologists' reports to seek special consideration for pupils with specific reading and writing difficulties when the first national DECP survey was started in 1981 (Cornwall, Hedderly and Pumfrey, 1984). In some respects the situation in 1989 has become much clearer, but in many other respects, despite the considerable advances in assessment processes and procedures, the issues are more confused.