If an Educational Psychologist (EP) is asked to become involved with your child, it's usually because you, a teacher or another professional is concerned about their progress or development. To speak to a member of the team please call 01642 201861.
Educational Psychologists support children and young people in education, their families, and the schools and colleges they attend. They understand:
- How children develop
- Effective teaching and learning approaches
- Positive behaviour management skills
- Specific difficulties that affect learning, for example, dyslexia or autism
- Approaches and interventions which can help effect change at an individual and whole school level
- Assessment methods
- Legislation, local policy and procedures, and national research
EPs work with, and on behalf of, children and young people up to the age of 16 years (25 if the young person has a statement of Special Educational Needs). They don't work with children without the permission of parents and carers.
When an EP is asked to become involved with a child, the first step is for the school or college to arrange a Consultation Meeting that involves parents/carers, teachers and an EP. The meeting is to share and explore the concerns, and to agree a plan of action to help the child make better progress. The plan may involve the EP working with the child's teachers or with the child directly.
EPs in the council's Psychological Team use consultation as the main method of service delivery. They work with schools to deal with concerns relating to individual children, to groups of children, and to whole school issues. Within the consultation framework, EPs work in partnership with teachers, parents/carers and others, to achieve beneficial change for children.
Work concerning individual children is usually carried out at the request of schools, however parents/carers and other professionals can also contact the team directly. When you do this, you'll be asked about your particular concerns, and you may also be asked to discuss any difficulties with your child's school as a first step towards resolving the problem. This can also help to clarify whether an the involvement of an EP is needed. Once a need is agreed, the Psychological Team seek to include parents or carers, the school, and other professional colleagues in discussions.
Yes. When schools raise concerns relating to a child, it's essential that the child's parents/carers know about any discussions beforehand, and give their consent to the involvement of an EP. Schools and parents/carers will be asked to complete a 'request for Educational Psychology consultation' form. The form asks for basic information and the school and parent/carer's views about the nature of the concern. The school then arranges a Consultation Meeting. It's helpful if the child's parents/carers, and also the teacher who has responsibility for writing and monitoring the child's Individual Education Plan, are involved in the meeting.
The aim of the Consultation Meeting is to develop a plan that builds on the success already being achieved. The meeting spends some time discussing the concerns, but much of the time is spent developing strategies and approaches. Some time is reserved at the end of the meeting to record the plan. The plan outlines the strategies and targets needed to help the child make progress, and outlines how the child will be involved in developing and monitoring the plan. It also clarifies the ongoing involvement of the EP. All participants in a Consultation Meeting receive a copy of the plan. This is not intended to replace the school's own record of the meeting. If the child's parents or carers are unable to attend, the school will share the plan with them.
The conclusion of an EP's involvement is determined in a further Consultation Meeting.
EPs only work directly with children when it's agreed in a Consultation Meeting that it would help to address the concerns raised. EPs often begin by observing the child in the classroom. They'll want to see how your child normally gets on and may ask you not to tell your child about the observation, in case it changes their behaviour. When EPs meet children and young people they may want to find out what the child thinks their strengths and difficulties are, do some assessment work, or talk with the child about what would help them cope better.
Individual work may involve observation, discussion with the child or young person, assessment, counselling or a brief intervention. Schools usually arrange for the EP to have a suitable quiet place in which to work with a child or young person.
EPs work accountably and in partnership with schools and other service users, and learn from the feedback received.
Parents and carers understand their children and know best how to prepare them for new experiences. It's usually best to tell children the truth in a way that doesn't worry them. If you want more advice on what to tell your child, contact the Psychological Team on 01642 201861.
After EPs work with children, they tell parents and teachers about the work they've done. This information may be given verbally, in writing or at a further meeting.