Who are Educational Psychologists (EPs)?
Educational Psychologists (EPs) are professionals who use their training in psychology to work with schools and families, to help children and young people to learn and thrive in their setting. They typically work with schools and settings to help them to support young people and may not always work directly with the young person.
EPs work in different ways when working with a school or setting, including:
- Whole school training
- Working with staff
- Helping set up interventions
- Looking at processes for identifying and supporting young people
- Completing work with individual students.
EPs have background training in child development and the psychological theories, practices and principles that underpin learning, relationships, behaviour, communication, social and emotional development. EPs are registered to practice with the Health Care Professions Council and contribute to statutory (i.e. legal) processes like assessments for Education, Health and Care Plans, as well as providing support to schools and settings.
EPs work with young people aged 0 to 25 typically those with difficulties with any of the following:
- regulating their emotions and keeping themselves calm
- making friends
- regulating their feelings of anxiety and low mood
- engaging with learning or training
- relationships with adults.
Depending on the situation, an EP assessment can involve:
- Speaking with members of staff
- Speaking with parents/carers
- Observing the young person
- Working with the young person and gathering their views
An EP may not always work individually with the young person. Often EPs focus on supporting the adults that work regularly with the young person.
EPs also do not diagnose young people with conditions or psychiatric disorders. The work that we complete typically involves the exploration of a young person’s strengths and needs, as well as support to professionals who work with young people in order to meet their needs.
EPs become involved with young people when there have been concerns raised about how they are getting on in their school/setting. The EP will then problem solve with the school or setting and the young person’s family.
The school/setting may also seek the support of Advisory Teachers and other professionals in the Children and Adults with Disability (CAD) team.
We believe that the most effective way of helping children is through working collaboratively with parents/carers and schools/settings. We therefore do not take direct referrals from parents/carers or other professionals. If you have concerns, you should speak to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at your child’s school/setting. They may choose to involve their EP or someone else from the CAD team.