Educational psychology service

Every council has a team of Educational Psychologists (EPs). EPs are headed by a principal educational psychologist with responsibility for management. Within the team are senior educational psychologists with particular roles and responsibilities.

The background of EPs

EPs are teachers with a varied experience in a wide range of settings. We all have an honours degree or equivalent in psychology and have undertaken a professional higher degree in educational psychology, qualifying us to work as applied psychologists.

We work under professional supervision, developing expertise, and continue to keep up to date with developments in the field. All EPs in Southwark undertake regular training including training on safeguarding issues. We're committed to being a safe organisation and working with others to achieve safety for all children and young people.

We're chartered, or eligible, and are recognised as such by the British Psychological Society (BPS). We're expected to follow the BPS guidelines and work closely with the Association of Educational Psychologists.

The role of EPs

Our role is to consult with parents and staff to explore issues that may interfere with learning. Strategies discussed between the people involved in a child's education are hoped to promote progress and inclusion using knowledge, experience and relevant research.

All state funded schools have a designated educational psychologist and can access a range of consultation services, assessment and intervention support as well as training, private nurseries, day care provision, play groups and community nurseries.

The special educational needs code of practice

EPs work in accordance with the national special educational needs code of practice. This can involve working with children who have high levels of special educational needs and also providing consultation advice regarding children with less severe needs.

EPs provide training, contribute to planning and development and can undertake action research to inform how best to progress. Increasingly EPs are working with a range of professionals in schools and settings.

Service operation

We make great efforts to work effectively with schools and settings. The way we work has been agreed in consultation with head teacher representatives and the inclusion and special educational needs forum.

The educational psychology service also provides additional support to a community in the event of a potentially traumatic event. 

School family support meetings

School family support meetings ensure that the agencies working with a child or young person are as organised and effective as possible. These meetings typically take place once a term in primary settings and twice a term in secondary settings to bring together setting staff and professionals from a range of support services to consider children and young people causing concern. This network discusses actions that may be taken or referrals.

The meetings typically consist of:

  • headteacher
  • special educational needs coordinator
  • setting nurse
  • education welfare officer
  • educational psychologist
  • child and adolescent mental health professional
  • social worker

Other support staff in the school or setting may be invited also, such as:

  • counsellor
  • learning mentors
  • connections worker
  • settings beat officers
  • youth offending team workers

Page last updated: 02 January 2018