Dyslexic readers are typically regarded as being treatment resistant when exposed to reading intervention. The aim of this study was to determine the practical utility of employing an instrument such as the phonological assessment battery (PhAB) as a means of identifying dyslexic (with poor phonological processing skills) from non-dyslexic older low-progress readers. A sample of 22 older low-progress readers was assessed on the PhAB and also on a variety of reading and spelling measures prior to receiving and following an intensive, systematic, skills-based literacy intervention program for two terms. The group as a whole made substantial and significant mean gains on all reading and spelling measures but there were no appreciable differences in gain between those students identified as dyslexic and those who were not. Moreover, none of the PhAB subtest scores predicted size of gains. The intensive literacy instruction, however, appeared to improve performance on several subscales of the PhAB. These results provide evidence of the need for intensive literacy remediation for all low-progress readers, regardless of their categorisation, and lend support to those who advocate a non-categorical approach to addressing reading disability. Identifying dyslexic readers may not be helpful and teaching phonological awareness as a separate component may not be necessary to meet the needs of older low-progress readers.