What do educational and child psychologists do?
Educational Psychologists (EPs) have expertise in education, learning, child development (including behaviour and social-emotional needs) and the application of psychology to improve the learning and well-being/mental health of children and young people up to the age of 25 years. Educational Psychologists offer Consultation, Assessment, Intervention, Training and Research in relation to all these areas. They also have an understanding of the legal framework for the education of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities with strong links to the Bi-borough’s Special Educational Needs Service.
EPs work particularly closely with schools and parents/carers to support children and young people experiencing a range of challenges, including those who are vulnerable and those with SEN. However, EPs aim to increase the capacity of schools to meet all children’s needs, not just those with the greatest barriers to learning.
EPs also support with work which enables the LAs to exercise its decision making in an informed way, and to manage the boundary between its own responsibilities and those of schools and other partners in work with children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.
EPs work mainly in consultation with teachers and parents/carers using a ‘plan do review’ system to provide effective, positive agreed interventions. Feedback to the Educational Psychology service has shown that EPs are very effective in supporting schools and parents/carers to explore the best way of achieving positive change for children, even in the most complex of situations. EPs are trained in specific approaches such as Video Interactive Guidance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused approaches and Mindfulness. Using such skills, they are able to help schools and families to move forward and to establish better and more effective relationships between adults and children.
The Bi-borough Educational Psychology Consultation Service (also known as the Bi-borough EPS) is directly commissioned by the two Local Authorities involved in the current partnership. Educational Psychologists are also available to schools and other council and partner agencies via the Educational Psychology Consultation Service. The service has strong and positive relationships with schools and with children’s social care and health, as examples. The advice and support the service is able to offer is therefore very well integrated into the broader systems of support for vulnerable children and young people and those with SEN and their families.
A sample of the type of work Educational Psychologists undertake:
Consultation: with teachers, parents/carers and other adults who work with children, young people and young adults to clarify concerns and set up positive interventions. Consultation is defined as a joint problem-solving approach to school based concerns, making sense of situations and contexts in which children and young people learn and develop, and helping to find solutions.
Psychological Assessments (e.g. as contributing to Education, Health and Care Plans or as part of the Consultation process)
Interventions, for example:
- Advice, guidance and interventions (e.g. strategies and ideas to move problematic situations forward positively)
- Video Interaction Guidance, this is an intervention through which a VIG practitioner and client (parent/carer/professional) reflect together on video clips of their own successful interactions
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Approaches, managing staff anxiety, stress and worries, helping children/young people manage their worries and get the best out of life and their education
- EPs also work with groups of children, young people and parents/carers
Professional Development and Training, for example:
- Children’s development of play
- The importance of sleep
- Understanding child development and the needs of children/young people with Special Educational Needs.
- For example, monitoring the progress of children and young people with autism
- Parents’ perceptions of their child’s readiness for school aged five
- The effect of oral story telling on children’s language development
Educational Psychologists also offer Critical Incident support to schools.
Please also see link to our EPCS Newsletters via the links to the left.