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The Work of the Educational Psychologist


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Presentation by Lucy Harding, Brighton & Hove City Council, at our Careers in Psychology event, March 2016

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The Work of the Educational Psychologist

  1. 1. 1 The Work of the Educational Psychologist Lucy Harding Educational Psychologist Brighton & Hove City Council
  2. 2. 2 • What is an Educational Psychologist? • What do we do? • Areas we cover • How do we do it? • A Typical Week • Training Route • Pay and Conditions • Benefits and Challenges
  3. 3. What is an Educational Psychologist? Educational psychology is concerned with children and young people in educational and early years settings. Educational psychologists tackle challenges such as learning difficulties, social and emotional problems, issues around disability as well as more complex developmental disorders. 3
  4. 4. Common areas of focus 4 Academic / Cognitive needs – specific learning difficulties (literacy; numeracy; language; memory), learning difficulties/disabilities, access to appropriate educational provision. Emotional needs – attachment, anxiety, motivation, school refusal. Social needs – social communication disorders, social interaction, bullying Physical/Medical needs – physical disability, epilepsy, autism, deaf, blind These are not mutually exclusive.
  5. 5. 5 What EPs do Assessment children & young people (3-25 years) Consultation Interventions Training Staff support and wellbeing Educational policy and strategy SEN systems Multiagency working Research Critical incident support
  6. 6. 6 Assessment Observation (Social interaction; Attention; engagement in learning; level of and response to support) Pupil Views Standardised assessmnets Surveys / Questionnaires Staff and parental perspective
  7. 7. 7 Consultation Consultation with: *Parent *Teacher or other member of staff *Child or Young Person Other professionals
  8. 8. 8 Interventions With Children & Young People Anger Management Cognitive Behaviour Therapy groups Solution focused therapy Family work (e.g. school refusal) Video interaction guidance
  9. 9. 9 Training Behaviour management Emotional literacy Conditions: Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Loss and bereavement Anxiety and Stress School refusal
  10. 10. Where do EPs work? Local education authorities employ the majority of educational psychologists. They work in schools, colleges, nurseries and special units, primarily with teachers and parents. They regularly liaise with other professionals in education, health and social services. A growing number work as independent or private consultants. 10
  11. 11. 11 Training Routes • Undergraduate Degree in Psychology • 3 year Doctorate Highly competitive!
  12. 12. A Typical Week..... It’s never the same! AM PM Monday Observing a child at Infant School with autism and meeting the teacher and parent. Writing report and liaising with other professionals. Tuesday Planning training session. Running training for school support staff on emotional literacy. Wednesday Running a focus group with pupils at risk of exclusion for a piece action research. 1:1 session with Yr 5 teacher on supporting children with attachment difficulties Thursday Meeting with a social worker and foster carer of a Child in Care Admin Friday Attending a Team around the Child meeting for a child with complex epilepsy. Home visit for a family with a child with ASC, whom I have been working with for the past two years.
  13. 13. The Important bit! The pay for an EP is in accordance with the Soulbury pay Scale (approx): • 1 £33,934 • 2 £35,656 • 3 £37,378 • 4 £39,100 • 5 £40,822 • 6 £42,544 • 7 £44,165 • 8 £45,786 • 9 ** £47,305 • 10 ** £48,825 • 11 ** £50,243
  14. 14. 14 Too many schools Multiple agendas Perspective/ paradigm conflicts To label or not? Equal opportunities Resource issues Some challenges
  15. 15. 15 Varied and flexible Naturalistic settings High levels of autonomy Use a range of perspectives Well regarded Power to influence Potentially very creativeWhat’s Good About The Job