DR EMMA WOODWARD
BRIGHTON AND HOVE CITY COUNCIL
What is an Educational Psychologist?
Our main role is to remove the barriers to learning.
To do this we apply psychology to help the emotional
development and educational progress of children
and young people between the ages of 0-19.
Barriers to learning
Academic barriers – specific learning difficulties, learning
difficulties/disabilities, access to appropriate educational provision.
Emotional barriers – attachment, anxiety, motivation.
Physical/Medical barriers – physical disability, epilepsy, autism.
Social barriers – aspirations, culture.
These are not mutually exclusive.
There are varying psychological frameworks that we work to:-
Psychodynamic – Bion, Freud – looking at relationships and a persons’ sense of
self – projection and transference.
Systemic – exploring a person’s concern in the context of their ‘system’- family,
Solution focused – supporting a person view their concern in terms of ways
CBT – looking at the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
Most EPs work using most of these frameworks interchangeably to form an holistic
and responsive approach.
We work at three levels:-
Supporting the strategic development of school education policies to support
Championing the voice of the child in the wider organisation
Running groups for children
Training for parents/teaching staff
Children, parents, teachers
How we work:-
We each are allocated a ‘patch’ of schools (based on area and including early
years, primary, secondary and special).
We also make links with local community groups and children’s centres.
We work closely with other professionals, including – education, health, and
We work in an integrated manner meaning that we apply psychology in every
encounter to ensure the adults around the child work as effectively as possible.
Some local authorities have now adopted a traded services model.
What do Educational Psychologists do?
Tackle the problems encountered by young people in education, (learning
difficulties and social or emotional problems).
Enable teachers to become more aware of the factors affecting teaching and
Support parents/carers understand child development to enable them to
support their child.
Write reports about children for allocation of special educational places, or
as part of court proceedings or children's panels.
Some Educational Psychologists have areas of special interest (Children in
Care, ASC etc..)
We do this using:-
Our main role is to develop and test hypothesis about the concern using our
We don’t always need to see the child, it is most helpful to help those working with
the child to solve their own problems as they have the lasting relationship with the
A typical week.....
Never the same!
Monday Observing Yr 6 class to support
whole class teaching strategies
Running a drop in for parents
Tuesday Supporting pastoral staff at a
secondary school develop student
1:1 session with Yr 5 teacher on
supporting children with attachment
Wednesday Running a focus group with pupils
at risk of exclusion for a piece
action research using appreciative
Giving a presentation at Sussex
Thursday Meeting with a social worker Admin
Friday Attending a Team around the
Child meeting for a child with
Home visit for a family with a child
with ASC, whom I have been working
with for the past two years.
How to become an Educational
To become an Educational Psychologist you need to have an undergraduate
degree in psychology and then complete a three year Doctorate in Educational
It is preferred that applicants have a 2.1 or above in a first psychology-based
degree that grants them eligibility for Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR)
with the British Psychological Society (BPS)
You will also need at least two years relevant experience of working with
children and young people. This can include roles such as assistant educational
psychologist, teacher, classroom or learning assistant, SEN co-ordinator or
research activity with children and young people. Other relevant experience is
The important bit!
The pay for an EP is in accordance with the Soulbury
pay scale (currently):-
9 ** £47,305
10 ** £48,825
11 ** £50,243
Over to you!
Any questions or thoughts?
For further information please see:-