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Frequently asked questions - Educational Psychology
What is an Educational Psychologist (EP)?
An Educational Psychologist (EP) has undertaken a minimum of 6 years' training. The training currently includes a first degree in psychology and postgraduate training in educational and child psychology at doctoral level as well as experience in working with children and young people.
As part of their postgraduate training, EPs study child development, the psychology of learning and teaching and the psychological aspects of teaching children with special educational needs. They study how groups and systems function and how people communicate and maintain relationships. They also learn about assessment, solving problems, training others, consultation and research methods.
The Bury Team
We are positioned within the Inclusion and Vulnerable Children Division and work closely with the SEN Team; ANTs; PLC Outreach Team; Attendance Team and the Anti-bullying Co-ordinator. We are also part of a tripartite jointly managed Service with Wigan and Salford EPS which has a shared Executive Principal EP.
We have recently become a partially traded Service where schools are allocated core / statutory LA funded time from a named EP and also have the option of purchasing additional time which is charged by the hour. Services are charged at £60 an hour within Bury and £80 an hour for establishments outside Bury. Hourly rates include preparation time, delivery of work and completion of written feedback.
We are a dedicated, professional and highly skilled team of psychologists who are keen to use our skills and experience to promote cognition and learning, social inclusion and emotional health and well-being within schools, settings and partner agencies. The Bury team is currently made up of an EPS Manager and Deputy Principal EP (DPEP), two Senior EPs, 3 Specialist Practitioner EPs and 3 main grade EPs which make up in total the equivalent of 6 and a half full time positions. We also have a number of trainee EPs on our team. Senior EPs have specialisms in Early Years and Emotional Health and Well-Being and Specialist Practitioners have specialisms in Cognition and Learning, Early Years and Emotional Health and Well-Being. All Bury EPs are Health Care and Professions Council Registered and have enhanced CRB checks.
What do Bury Educational Psychologists do?
We offer a wide range of evidence based psychological services. We carry out identification and assessment of children and young people's needs and provide intervention and recommendations by working directly with children and young people and consulting with others involved with them. Bury EPS fulfils the Local Authority's Statutory duties under section 321 of the Education Act 1996. We also deliver training; research; project; intervention; and strategic work in a number of related areas both within schools and across Children's Services. We work closely with parents, carers, school personnel and with other staff within Children's Services and Health. We currently provide the following services:
Consultation: the foundation of Educational Psychology Practice that can be used to problem solve around an individual child or issue.
- Attainment tests;
- Cognitive assessment;
- Access arrangements for examinations;
- Developmental and play based assessment;
- Health and well-being assessment;
- Functional analysis;
- Social communication and interaction assessment.
Personalised training, intervention and project work: Packages designed to suit you and your communities' needs. This includes pre, post and follow up analysis.
Written feedback is usually in the form of a report or consultation summary and is always provided following EPS involvement.
Why Bury EPS?
- Each member of the team is linked to specific designated schools resulting in consistent working relationships and a flexible and responsive approach to our schools' needs.
- We have an extensive knowledge of the SEN processes with Bury and the interventions recognised and accepted by the LA.
- We are very familiar with the context, communities and other support services associated with Bury schools and early years settings and we have continued positive working relationships with them and other Bury support teams.
- We continue to have excellent links with the University of Manchester and we currently have a number of Trainees on placement with us. The EPS manager and one of the Senior EPs are associate tutors on the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology course at Manchester University. These links with the University ensure the highest quality of research knowledge and evidence based practice.
- One of our Senior EPs works jointly with the Health Service as part of a multi-agency team at the Child Development Centre which facilitates signposting and positive working relationships with our colleagues in this area.
- Each member of the team is dedicated to CPD and we have all developed our own specialist knowledge in particular areas of psychology. The team fosters a learning environment where the sharing of resources and peer supervision are highly regarded.
- We offer a supportive network within the team which maximises capacity to fulfill our professional practice guidelines set out by the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC).
When does the Educational Psychologist usually get involved?
The Head Teacher / SENCO / class teacher will inform you of any concerns about your child's learning or development and will involve you fully in the decision to ask the EP for advice. The EP is consulted at the Special Educational Needs Planning meeting held in schools once per term and involvement is negotiated. A Service Level Agreement will be completed by school and the EP when work is agreed.
Bury Children's Services can be asked to carry out a more formal assessment of your child's special educational needs which is called a Statutory Assessment. This usually only occurs when the child has received intervention through the SEN procedures set out in the Code of Practice. If this statutory assessment is carried out, the EP will be one of the people who advise about the child's needs. You have a right to be involved during the assessment of your child.
Sometimes parents and carers want the EP to see their child before the teachers have decided that this is necessary. If this happens, we ask parents to discuss their concerns further with the school before contacting us directly.
Can I refuse to give my permission for the Educational Psychologist to become involved?
EPs would only wish to work with children with the permission and support of parents/carers and we need your informed consent to become involved.
Will I have an opportunity to discuss my child with the Educational Psychologist?
We work in partnership with parents and carers as their views are very important in our work and we want them to know what we are doing. The Head Teacher or SENCO will tell you when the EP is coming to school to see your child and you have a right to meet with him/her.
If you want to meet with the EP before deciding whether to give your permission for him/her to work with your child, school may be able to arrange this for you. This will need to be negotiated with the school as this meeting would have to be commissioned by them. You can be present when the EP sees your child, but the presence of a parent often inhibits a child from performing in their usual manner.
Where can I find out about special educational needs?
School is the best place to discuss whether your child may have special educational needs. They will explain the procedures and what action is being taken to help your child.
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