How we work

Education psychology

Our aim is to promote access and inclusion for all children and young people. We do this by applying psychology and by working with colleagues in the Family and Children’s Services Business Group, and more widely with schools, children and their families to achieve this aim.

We are guided in our work by “Every Child Matters” and the five outcomes which children and young people have said are important to them. That is, to be happy, healthy, safe, to achieve and to make a contribution.

Who we work with

The work of the Educational Psychologist falls into six broad areas. See below:

1. Under Fives/Early Years

This involves working with Royal Borough nursery schools and classes, Family Centres, and Children's Centres. We also work with children who have been referred by health professionals to the Local Authority who may have special educational needs. We work collaboratively with the parents of these children, usually as home visits, and other professional groups.

2. 5-16 year olds

This involves educational psychologists working with Royal Borough mainstream schools, the special boarding school, the hospital school and the Pupil Support Service. Time is also allocated for consultations over pupils at independent mainstream and non Royal Borough mainstream and special schools for pupils who are residents of the Royal Borough.

3. 16-19 year olds

Currently, this age group represents only a smaller proportion of our work in mainstream schools. For pupils of this age who are not attending a mainstream school, consultations can be requested by the young people and/or parents if they make contact with the service.

4. Professional Development, Inset and Training

We are pleased to offer time to teachers, parents and other professionals for development opportunities. We also offer training placements for psychologists who are on professional training courses in educational psychology, especially those interested in developing consultation skills.

5. Family and Interdisciplinary Consultation

We are pleased to offer family consultation work to Child and Family Centres, colleagues in health and social services and to services within the Family and Children’s Services Business Group.

6. Consultation and Advice to the Local Authority

The Service also provides consultations, psychological views and advice to the Local Authority in relation to children who live in the Royal Borough. This is often in relation to statutory work under the 1966 Education Act.

Consultation Model and Psychology

The consultation model provides the framework for educational psychologists to work with schools about pupils who cause concern, including those with special educational needs.

The model of consultation we use is based on an interactionist model of psychology for understanding human behaviour. We believe behaviour, whether learning or social, relates to situations and contexts as well as to factors relating to the person. Consequently, we believe that schools can make a difference and different schools may make different differences. Our aim is to help schools and others make a difference which contributes to development, participation, learning and achievement.

The process of consultation involves us talking with the people who have a concern or issue or query, usually the classteacher, form tutor and/or year head. We work collaboratively to explore and make sense of the situations and contexts in which pupils learn and develop. Through this process we engage with others in finding solutions making progress.

An integral part of the work of an Education Psychologist is to assess and intervene over individual pupils and to work with others, mainly teachers, with the aim of making a difference to those children, primarily in the school context. A key aspect of the collaborative work in the school is the participation of children and parents as partners. By working in this collaborative way we help devise a range of varied interventions for individuals, groups and organisations.

Review, Learning, Development and Improvement

The Education Psychology Consultation Service is committed to ongoing review and development. The service always works from principles to practice and regularly monitors and reviews its ways of working and its effectiveness.

A key element in this process involves seeking regular dialogue with, and feedback from, the professionals with whom we work as well as from service users. We also talk to other professionals, parents, children and school staff.

The service team is committed to continuing professional development and continuous improvement through reflection and learning. Our work links directly to the Children Act 2004 and the five outcomes of ‘Every Child Matters’.

For further information on these initiatives please visit the DfES website