Educational Psychology Service
Educational Psychologists are applied psychologists who work primarily within an educational context.
Summary of service
Educational Psychologists work within a consultation framework, providing support and advice to early years providers, schools, parents, health professionals and the LEA on children's special educational needs and how those needs might best be met.
Their work includes, where appropriate:
- Individual assessment work with children,
- helping teachers to plan intervention programmes,
- providing specialist training to teachers and
- monitoring children’s progress throughout their education.
Each psychologist covers an area of the borough and has an additional borough-wide responsibility such as visual or physical impairment.
Other specialist areas include Portage, Early Years and autism. Referrals to the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) of pre-school children mainly come via the Child Development Team. Requests for consultation in relation to school-age children can be made by their school.
- A consultation and support service to schools to enable them to function as effectively as possible as institutions.
- Comprehensive psychological assessments and reports on individual children including preparation of psychological advice in accordance with the Education Act (1996) for children undergoing statutory assessment of their special educational needs.
- Advice on a wide range of special educational needs including specific learning difficulties (dyslexia); general learning difficulties; attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder; speech and language difficulties; social communication and autistic spectrum disorders; emotional and behavioural difficulties and co-ordination difficulties.
- Specialist advice aimed at enabling children with physical and/or sensory disabilities to gain maximum access to the curriculum in mainstream settings.
- Working with school staff, parents and, when appropriate, other agencies to create and evaluate intervention programmes for individuals and groups of pupils.
- Working directly with a child or group of children in school.
- Advice on screening and monitoring pupil progress in order to facilitate early identification and intervention.
- Working with schools to help them establish, monitor and evaluate innovative ways of meeting the special educational needs of their pupils.
- The Service has an expanding resource base of information, research papers and journals, advice sheets, educational programmes, therapeutic work and in-service training materials which can be made available to schools.
- Provision of in-service training/continuing professional development to teachers, other members of staff, parents and other professionals.
- Supporting schools in reviewing their policies and the provision they make for children with special educational needs; for example, behaviour, bullying, special teaching arrangements.
- Help with critical incident management following a traumatic incident involving the school.
- Specialist advice to the LEA on all aspects of special education provision and policy.
If a report is written on a child, a copy is always sent to the parents. Parents' and children’s views are always sought and recorded.
Requesting a consultation with an educational psychologist
Consultations are usually requested by headteachers or Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators following discussions with the child's parents. Requests for full consultation in respect of individual children take place at the School Action Plus stage of the Department for Education and Skills' Code of Practice. Such requests are normally made, subject to their parents' consent, only after the school or nursery has carried out its own assessment of needs at earlier stages of the Code and has put in place and evaluated additional educational/behavioural programmes, recorded in the form of an Individual Education Plan. Referrals of pre-school children with marked learning, physical or sensory difficulties are normally made via the Child Development Team.
Teachers can also request an informal consultation with their school’s Educational Psychologist (EP) in which individual pupils are not identified.
The EPS delivers its service through a time allocation model. Each mainstream school has an allocation of EP time, calculated annually through a formula that takes account of size of roll and proportion of children with special educational needs. There are also allocations of time for special schools/units, pre-school work, Richmond pupils in out-borough schools and specialisms. Each EP also has an allocation of “contingency” time to deal with emergencies, unpredictable surges in statutory demands and to allow schools the opportunity to bid for some extra time for project work and/or school-based staff training.
The EPS does not provide a service to schools in the independent sector although individual pupils undergoing statutory assessment will be seen.
The EPS is committed to monitoring the standard of service delivery and its performance is regularly evaluated.
The Service also operates within the framework of the borough’s equal opportunities and customer care policies.
Any complaint relating to the EPS should initially be directed to the Principal Educational Psychologist. This service operates within the framework of the borough’s complaints procedure.
Contact the Educational Psychology Service
Telephone: 020 8487 5464
Fax: 020 8487 5465
Updated: 04 January 2021