There are three different types of professional who work in or are attached to the Educational Psychology Service:
- Educational Psychologists
- Specialist Teachers
- Emotional Resilience Officers
Educational Psychologists are professionals who have a degree in psychology and a postgraduate degree in educational psychology. Many have a teaching qualification and teaching experience, and all have other relevant experience working with children and young people.
Educational Psychologists have knowledge and skills in:
- Child development
- A wide range of special educational needs
- How children learn and achieve
- Ways to support children, their schools and families
- Emotional well being
Why would my child see an Educational Psychologist?
An educational psychologist may be asked to become involved when a child's learning or behaviour is a concern for their teacher or family. Before this happens, the child or young person in question will have received additional support in school. First of all, the school will adapt their teaching relating to a child's strengths and weaknesses to help them access the curriculum. The school will also carry out systematic observation and assessment which will help to identify whether a child has special educational needs.
When a child is identified as having special educational needs the school should provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school's usual differentiated curriculum and strategies. At this stage the school should discuss with parents the special educational provision that will be made for their child.
If concerns continue, despite the interventions undertaken by school, school staff and parents should discuss the concerns and decide whether it is appropriate to involve external services (such as the Educational Psychology Service).
What can Educational Psychologists do to help?
- Meet parents/carers to listen to their concerns.
- Observe and assess children to identify their strengths and difficulties.
- Talk to children to understand their views about difficulties they may have.
- Offer advice about learning or behaviour to staff who work with the child.
- Offer training to schools and other professionals.
- Work together with other agencies and services such as the Department of Speech and Language Therapy.
How to make a referral
Referrals to the Educational Psychology Service should be made through your child's school. If you have any concerns about your child's learning or behaviour at school, these should be raised with your child's teacher or the school's special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo).
The specialist teachers are professionals who have a degree in education and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia).
Why would my child see a Specialist Teacher?
Your child would see a specialist teacher for support if they are found to have significant literacy and/or numeracy difficulties and are not making progress despite receiving appropriate intervention in school.
What can Specialist Teachers do to help?
Specialist teachers offer the following types of support:
- Consultation about the needs of individual children who have been referred to the Educational Psychology Service.
- School based training for groups and coaching for individual support staff.
- Short to medium term blocks of teaching for children with severe literacy and/or numeracy difficulties.
- Advice on resources and interventions
How to make a referral
Referrals to the specialist teachers are made through the school's educational psychologist following discussion with the school's special educational needs co-ordinator and parents.
Emotional Resilience Team
The Emotional Resilience Team is a small team of highly experienced professionals, known as Emotional Resilience Officers, who can help to develop the emotional resilience of children and young people.
Why would my child see an Emotional Resilience Officer?
The Emotional Resilience Team supports targeted children and young people from ages 7 to 12 who have been identified as requiring support in particular areas that may create barriers to learning.
The team also works with targeted Year 6 children and helps to support them with their transition to Year 7 (secondary education).
In addition, intensive support is provided to children and young people who are presenting as school refusers, helping to reintegrate them into an education setting.
The team can also offer bereavement support to children who are struggling with the death or loss of someone close to them.
What can Emotional Resilience Officers do to help?
Emotional Resilience Officers provide termly support sessions and group work to targeted children in schools. The process allows the child time and space to discuss any concerns or worries in a confidential environment which can help them to develop coping strategies.
How to make a referral
The Emotional Resilience Team is small and therefore support is not available to every child. Referrals are made by schools each term for Key Stage 2/3. Referrals made for a child or young person presenting as a school refuser must be made through school via the Children and Young People's Wellbeing Panel. Bereavement support referrals can be made by contacting the Senior Emotional Resilience Officer.
To contact the Educational Psychology Service, email firstname.lastname@example.org.