The services educational psychologists provide
A consultation is a problem-solving meeting between the educational psychologist and teacher (or a group of teachers), sometimes involving parents and other staff working with the child, for example special needs or classroom assistants, nursery nurses, speech or physiotherapists, medical officers and social workers.
Usually the consultation is based around teachers' observations and investigations; the child may not need to see the educational psychologist. In some cases the educational psychologist may need to carry out classroom observations or meet with the child, before consultation takes place.
The consultation identifies the child's difficulties and actions that can be taken at school to help tackle these. It can lead to interventions focusing on the individual, a group of pupils or on whole-school issues.
All consultations are followed up at a further school visit, where progress can be checked and any additional action planned, if needed.
The consultation approach has proved to be very effective in supporting children's learning and development. It is also a way in which educational psychologists can work with teachers before and at all stages of the SEND process, and particularly when extra help is needed.
The services offered by educational psychologists include working in the following ways.
1. With the school as an organisation
- consultation around whole-school issues, such as managing pupil behaviour, identifying and assessing children with special educational needs or disability, working with parents
- school-based staff development (see training below).
2. With teachers and parents
- joint investigation and problem solving with teachers, middle and senior management and parents to come up with actions for individual or groups of children causing concern
3. With individual children or groups of children
- structured investigations around children and young people with special educational needs
- classroom observation, to help inform practical strategies and actions
- attending annual reviews, providing consultation and advice for pupils with an EHCP
- providing individual support to a pupil or to a group of children, for example, around social skills, stress reduction, peer tutoring and solution-focused counselling.
4. Outside school
- investigating and providing psychological advice on interventions for pre-school aged children and Surrey pupils with an EHCP placed in a non-Surrey maintained school.
5. Within Surrey County Council
- contributing to Surrey-wide strategies developed by our Childrens, Schools and Families directorate and to policies and practices developed by the council
- advising us on systems to meet pupils educational needs
- mediating with parents and representatives who are in dispute with a school or us
- providing specialist advice on other areas within the council's Childrens, Schools and Families directorate, including looked after children, autism, cognitive behaviour therapy, post-adoption support etc.
We follow an annual quality assurance cycle to ensure that the work we undertake is of the highest possible standard in supporting children and young people's progress and development.
Regular feedback is sought from all our users and together with moderation activities support service improvement.