Educational Psychologists (EPs) are professional psychologists with specialist training in child development, how children learn, their emotions, behaviour and how environments affect learning. They work closely with parents and carers, Early Years settings, schools and colleges to help children and young people aged from 0-25 who might be having difficulties with:
Confidence and motivation
Communication and friendships
The aim of the EP is to ensure the young people of Southampton have the equality of access and opportunity they need to flourish within education and beyond. EPs work together with you, your child, and their school or college to help plan a positive way forward.
All Southampton schools and colleges are linked to an EP (or a supervised trainee EP). Parents or carers should contact the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at their child’s school or college to raise concerns.
All EPs must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
How it works
Step one – Request
A member of staff from your child’s school or college will talk to you about whether a request for EP involvement should be made to support your child. Once this is agreed, the SENCo will ask for your signed consent before the EP becomes directly involved. If you are happy, a consultation will then be arranged. This is a joint problem-solving meeting between the EP, parents and carers, the class teacher and any key adults working closely with your child to share concerns.
Step two – Psychological consultation
This might be through a face-to-face meeting in school, a home visit, or a video call. During this meeting, the EP will listen and ask a range of questions to gather information from everyone so the group can gain a deeper understanding of your child’s needs and start to plan next steps.
We do not always need to see your child in order to help, but in some cases, the EP may need to carry out further assessment work. This could include classroom observations, analysis of schoolwork, questionnaires, curriculum-based assessments and use of recognised assessment tools. Children and young people often enjoy assessment activities with an EP as they are presented as fun and motivating activities.
Step three – Action planning
A discussion about jointly creating a realistic plan for your child might occur towards the end of the consultation or in a separate meeting following some further EP assessment work. This recorded action plan will include outcomes or targets for your child, along with potential strategies and interventions to help meet those targets. A date to jointly review this plan may also be agreed.
Step four – Review meeting
At this meeting, your child’s progress will be discussed and the action plan will be reviewed by everyone involved. The EP may then end their involvement and you and the educational setting will be provided with a written record.
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