Education Psychology Service
Information for Parents
The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) assesses the educational needs of children and advises their parents, school or the Council on how to meet these educational needs
The following gives some basic information for parents when an initial referral (at Action Plus of the Tameside's SEN procedures) is being considered.
- What is an Educational Psychologist?
- What do Educational Psychologists do?
- Why is there an Educational Psychology Service?
- How does the Educational Psychologist help?
- When does an Educational Psychologist usually get involved?
- Can I refuse to give my permission for the Educational Psychologist to become involved?
- Will I have an opportunity to discuss my child with the Educational Psychologist?
- Where can I find out about Special Educational Needs?
- Who do I contact if I want further information?
An Educational Psychologist has undertaken a minimum of seven years training. This includes a first degree in psychology, at least two years experience as a qualified teacher and postgraduate training in Educational Psychology.
As part of their post graduate training, educational psychologists study normal child development, the psychology of learning and teaching, and the psychological aspects of teaching children with special educational needs. They study how groups function, and how people communicate and maintain relationships. They also learn about assessment, solving problems, training others, counselling and research methods.
The Educational Psychology Service is part of the Services for Children and Young People of Tameside Council. We work with children and young people between the ages of 0 - 19 years of age. We visit schools and nurseries regularly. We work closely with parents and teachers and where appropriate, with other staff within the Education, Social and Health Services.
Many children have problems with their development and learning at some point in their lives. Most improve with the help of their families, their schools and their friends. The Educational Psychologist can offer additional advice if schools or families are having difficulty helping the child to improve. Our job is to assess the needs of these children and advise their parents, school or the Council about the best way to help them.
We usually assess a child in school. We do this in a number of ways, which may include:
- Discussing them with their parents, teachers and others who know them well.
- Observing the child in their classroom or playground.
- Reviewing the work they have been doing in class.
- Speaking to the child.
- Testing to check on the child's skills and/or intellectual development
We can see how the child responds to what we have recommended. We offer parents suggestions about how they can help their child's development and learning.
The advice that we offer to teachers is usually to suggest ways to improve a child's learning or behaviour and ways to help her children with learning difficulties to cope with their work in class
It is usually the school, which deals with any difficulties that are identified (School Action of Tameside’s SEN Procedures).
The school keeps records of what is planned and done. The school designs and delivers Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for children. You will receive copies of these IEPs. If worries about your child's progress continue the Educational Psychologist is, with your permission, consulted by the school during a routine visit. This is School Action Plus of the SEN Procedures. The teacher or head teacher will keep parents informed of any concerns and involve them fully in the decision to ask the Educational Psychologist to help.
Tameside Services for Children and Young People can be asked to carry out a more formal assessment of your child's special educational needs, (Statutory Assessment of Tameside's SEN procedures). This usually only occurs when the child has received intervention through the SEN procedures set out in the Code of Practice. If this formal assessment is carried out, the Educational Psychologist will be one of the people who advise about the child's needs. You have a right to be involved during the assessment of your child.
Very occasionally, parents want the Educational Psychologist to see their child before the teachers have decided that this is necessary. Usually we ask parents to discuss their concerns further with the school before contacting us directly
Educational Psychologists would only wish to work with children with the permission and support of their parents.
We work in partnership with parents and want them to know what we are doing. The Headteacher will tell you when the Educational Psychologist is coming to school to see your child and you have a right to meet with her/him. Once the Educational Psychologist has a clear idea of what your child needs she/he will want to discuss this with you.
If you want to meet with the Educational Psychologist before deciding whether to give your permission for her/him to work with your child, we will always arrange this for you. You can be present when the Educational Psychologist sees your child but the presence of a parent often stops a child from performing in their usual manner.
School is the best place to discuss whether your child may have special educational needs. They will explain the procedures and what action, if necessary, is being taken to help your child. School will explain what exactly happens at the various stages of the SEN procedures.
If you want any further information regarding the Educational Psychology Service, please contact us.