Educational Psychology Service (EPS)
The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is part of SEN and Engagement Service. Educational Psychologists (EPs)in Stockton provide independent advice to children, young people, parents and setting with the aim of supporting and promoting positive outcomes for all children and young people (0 – 25 years old) living in the borough.
Service delivery is based on a consultation model of psychology that is research and evidenced based, solution focused and can facilitate change. EPs will work with vulnerable children and young people and those who have complex and additional needs. All Educational Psychologists (EPs) apply psychology (the study of thinking, learning and behaviour) and knowledge of child development to help understand how to remove barriers to a child or young person’s development and learning. These barriers may relate to the broad areas of needs within the SEND code of practice i.e. communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, sensory and/or physical needs. We work closely with other team members in the Schools and SEN directorate as well as schools, health, social care professionals and the multi-agency early help panel. The service we provide is designed to promote the best possible outcomes in terms of learning, social and emotional development and inclusion. To do this we work indirectly and directly with children and young people, offer advice, consultation, assessment, intervention, training and development for professionals and information and guidance for parents.
- SEN and Engagement Service
Using the service
An EP is likely to become involved where a setting has asked for help with a child/young person’s substantial learning or behavioural problems, or where a setting feels there has been no improvement despite support being provided. The service operates both a free service and a traded service (schools/settings purchase an amount of time they believe they need).
The range of our free service includes:
- Individual case work for those children and young people undergoing Statutory Assessment initiated by the Local Authority
- Individual case work for those children and young people for whom the Local Authority has decided to undertake a statutory reassessment of needs
- Individual case work for those children and young people who already have an Education, Health and Care Plan at the request of the Authority. This may also include, staff training, interventions and consultation with specific groups of staff to support the placement of the child or young person
- Individual case work for those children and young people identified by the Local Authority as requiring EPS involvement due to complex difficulties where there are significant barriers to learning and inclusion, working with the Continuum of Need and Services and Safeguarding (Child in Need, Child Protection, Looked After Children, attendance at ICPC and Case Conferences, and related involvement and assessment) and/or belonging to vulnerable groups include; those at risk of exclusion, new arrivals, and young carers, with or without a Special Educational Need/Education, Health and Care Plan
- Psychological consultation/training focused on narrowing gaps in attainment, improving academic progress, promoting inclusion, transition needs for children and young people placed at Additionally Resourced Provisions (ARPS) and Enhanced Mainstream Schools with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan, and supporting the development of school/academy staff
In addition to the offer above, it is possible for a school/academy/free school, FE setting and PRU to purchase additional and bespoke EPS time. Time bought is based on a setting’s needs and is not determined by the EPS. As such it is their decision if they wish to use their bought EP time to support assessments that are perhaps being undertaken by other agencies, such as CAMHS or Social Care.
A setting must have a partnership agreement with us for this traded service. Partnership agreement time can be used for a variety of work, including promoting psychological wellbeing and inclusion. Our work can be focused on individual children, groups or classes following a consultation model, or at an organisational or systemic level. Examples could be:
- Individual case work aimed at improving understanding of a child/young person’s needs and working with others to remove barriers to development and inclusion. This will usually include observing the child/young person, talking to school staff, talking to the young person and talking to the parent/carer. Sometimes individual assessment may be done as an agreed action. The aim is to get a joint understanding of the barriers to a young person’s learning/development and generate solutions with all those involved. The consultation model supports the assess, plan, do review process within the SEND Code of Practice and there should always be a follow up to evaluate strategies
- Staff drop ins where many children can be discussed on a no name basis and general strategies offered
- Supporting whole school/academy systems and processes to support inclusion and promote emotional wellbeing
- Training and project work related to direct involvement with individuals or groups of children and/or young people who display similar difficulties
- Parent/carer consultations, either at school/academy/FE setting or during home visits, aimed at developing a shared understanding and enabling full parent/carer involvement
- Research into an area of interest to the school that will impact on
- Intervention work at the request of school to support capacity building
The EP will negotiate the nature of the feedback from the setting; for some children/young people a record of the consultation will suffice; for others a more comprehensive report will be agreed. There is no requirement for a comprehensive report to be required for requests to One Point Panel; a record of consultation is accepted.
The EPS will respond to requests from any school, academy, PRU, Further Education Setting but there has to be a partnership agreement with us. Before any direct work with children or young people is undertaken, signed parental consent must be obtained. Parents must have seen the completed referral form before they sign so we know they have given informed consent. If the young person is over 16, s/he can give signed consent if they have capacity and understanding to do so. The referral form needs to be sent to the EPS prior to involvement in school to allow the EP to plan. Ideally referrals should be received via the setting’s SENCO so s/he has an overview.
The EPS is an active partner with Newcastle University in training educational psychologists. We have provided a fieldwork tutor who supports placements and delivers teaching at the university. In Year 1 of training, we offer placements to 4 Trainee EPs (TEPs). We have given a commitment to fund Year 2 and Year 3 TEPs from universities around the country and in return we may have up to 4 additional TEPs on their two year placements. School who are supporting us in this training have been allocated additional time on a free basis to accommodate the needs of trainees’ learning objectives.
The EPS is developing a programme of intervention based work that can be delivered via our assistant EPs.
Training can be provided to any school through their partnership agreement. We expect any training delivered will be followed up by the EPS to consider impact. From September 2018 we hope to have a full directory of training and dates available for all schools to purchase. Examples of training packages available include:
- Solution focused work
- Understanding and supporting autism spectrum disorder
- Developing growth mindsets
- Precision Teaching
- The human givens approach to emotional thinking and well being
- Planning alternative tomorrows with hope (PATHS)
- Solution circles
- Circle of adults
- Foetal alcohol syndrome
- Reciprocal teaching
- Acquired brain injury
- Choice theory
- Big red bus
- Cued spelling
The EPS does not accept direct referrals from parents or young people. We are happy for parents and young people to contact us on 01642 527110 to seek advice and help you consider what to do next.
For further information please contact the Educational Psychology Service on 01642 527110 or 01642 527817.
Key contact: Judith Garbutt - Senior Educational Psychologist
Local offer age group 0-25
- Contact Name
- Judith Garbutt - Senior Education Psychologist
- Contact Telephone
- 01642 527110 or 01642 527110
- Local Offer Age Bands