Educational psychologists are concerned with children's learning and development. They use their specialist skills in psychological and educational assessment techniques to help those having difficulties in learning, behaviour or social adjustment. Much of their work is with children aged 0-19 years, in pre-school and at maintained and special schools.
An educational psychologist will have trained in child development, the psychology of learning and teaching, children and young people's emotional wellbeing and the psychological aspects of educating children with special educational needs. Training will also have been undertaken in how groups function, how people communicate and maintain relationships as well as assessment, problem solving, counselling, treatment, research and training others.
All educational psychologists must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and carry out continued professional development.
Working with schools
Educational psychologists are involved in assessing children's strengths and difficulties and often work as part of a multi-professional team .
Educational psychologists work with schools using consultation – a way of helping children by working through others who have direct contact with them and who most impact on their lives. Benefits of this approach include:
- development of strategies that are practical and can be implemented by teachers and parents
- action by teachers and parents which create environments that bring about positive change in children
- enhanced skills and deeper understanding for the adults involved
- reduction in concern about individual children, as a result of sharing information and agreeing actions and priorities.
In Surrey our educational psychologists concentrate on:
- understanding the child's strengths and weaknesses and the quality of their learning environment
- using a systematic problem solving approach
- encouraging equal access and opportunities to the curriculum for all children
- offering intervention strategies for individuals and organisational situations, for example in schools, classrooms etc
- collaborating with colleagues to provide a joined-up service.