Educational psychology: information for professionals

Educational psychologists (EPs) within our Schools and Community Psychology Service (SCPS) are applied psychologists concerned with the development, learning and social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people.

Schools and commissioning services can get our services through their link psychologist. If you are not currently working with us, but are interested in doing so, you can arrange a commissioning consultation where we will discuss your needs.

Why use our services

  • Our psychologists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the regulatory body for psychologists practicing in the UK. This ensures they meet the required standards for safe, lawful and effective practice and are therefore allowed to offer psychological services to the general public
  • Our quality assurance systems mean that our psychologists work with professional supervision and keep their practice up to date through ongoing professional development
  • We offer high quality services and an excellent track record for providing services to all maintained schools in the borough since 1990
  • We have exceptional local knowledge and links
  • We are an integrated part of Wandsworth Council's Department of Children's Services and have direct access to all Children in Need and Looked After teams, as well as the Special Needs Assessment section
  • Our highly trained and skilled psychological workforce provide consultation, assessment and intervention skills to children and young people and those who live and work with them
  • We have close links with Integrated Children's Centres and local CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and GP services, and major targeted mental health interventions in schools (TaMHS) across the borough including Marlborough Family Groups and Place 2 Be

Services for schools and the community

Our services fall under the following categories:

Consultation

We find that by working with the people who know the child or young person best and who spend most time with him or her, we can help identify issues affecting the child or young person and think about next steps.

As well as applying our psychological understanding to individual children and young people, we also work at a group and/or organisational level. For example, thinking with school staff about how to effectively manage bullying at an individual, class and whole school level. We may run groups which involve parents, staff or children. We may also work at an organisational level to develop working practices, to manage organisational change and to assist in the formulation of policy.

As psychologists we bring our knowledge of psychology to help people analyse and make sense of real world situations experienced by children, young people and those who live and work with them.

Assessment

Assessment usually arises from and informs ongoing consultation. The nature of any assessment will be to explore and inform hypotheses about the needs of the child or young person. Assessment can include:

  • Observation in relevant contexts
  • Interviews with parents and carers and other professionals/agencies about their perceptions of the strengths and difficulties of the situation
  • Discussion and work with the child or young person

All of our psychologists are qualified in the use of a wide range of standardised and non-standardised assessment tools, including professionally restricted assessments such as psychometric testing.

They are also highly trained and skilled in a range of talking and thinking approaches including Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Video Interaction Guidance.

The appropriateness of any assessment approach used is based on a thorough consideration of the child or young person's development, their life experiences and the relevance of the assessment to the child or young person.

Intervention

Psychological intervention focuses on the promotion of a child or young person's development and wellbeing.

We support and deliver interventions in schools and in community settings. Our School and Community Psychology Service (SCPS) is able to offer support with the identification of intervention needs as well as the planning, setting up, delivery and evaluation of targeted interventions including:

  • Approaches to teaching and learning: for example precision teaching, Dyslexia friendly classrooms and strategies to support working memory and thinking skills
  • Interventions that promote social and emotional development: for example peer mediation, circle of friends, circle time, self esteem groups, anger management and solution focused brief therapy
  • Organisational development: for example staff consultation, problem solving and support groups, parents interventions and the establishment of anti-bullying strategies

Some examples of recent interventions:

The Blue Sky Programme

An eight week support and information programme for parents and carers who have discovered that their child may have profound or multiple needs.

FRIENDS

A school based CBT group programme for children and young people who show signs of anxiety.

Women's Group

A group project aimed at supporting the psychological wellbeing and resilience of women who have experienced domestic violence and/or are considered emotionally vulnerable.

Marlborough Family Groups

A targeted intervention for children and young people and their parents intended to promote positive mental health.

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities

A parenting programme promoting safe parenting skills and community links.

Parent Play

An intervention designed to help parents maximise their young child's social, emotional and behavioural development.

Video Interactive Guidance

A structured intervention designed to promote positive interpersonal communication between parent/ carers and their children, teachers and children and their peers.

Training, professional development and support

All our psychologists are experienced and highly skilled trainers and providers of professional development and supervision. We have knowledge and understanding of how others learn and the most effective ways of supporting and facilitating learning.

We offer a bespoke training and professional development service. We engage with clients in a thorough needs analysis that is then used to inform the planning and delivery of training/professional development activity, so that what we do is tailored to the needs of the audience and the context. We are able to offer training, professional development and support on a wide range of topics and to a varied audience (professionals, parents, children and young people).

Our offer includes:

Child Development and learning

For example early child development adolescence, Dyslexia, Autism, working memory behaviour management, ADHD

Psychological wellbeing

For example attachment and resilience, bereavement and loss, anger management, anxiety, the needs of looked after children, social and emotional regulation, mental health

Effective and supportive organisations

For example stress management and wellbeing, family partnership, effective communication and negotiation, counselling skills, supervision, managing groups

Critical incident support

A critical incident can be defined as an event, usually sudden, which involves the experience of a level of significant distress that has the potential to overwhelm an individual or organisation.

There is research evidence that an early well managed response can prevent or reduce longer term difficulties. As psychologists we have knowledge of the nature of trauma, its impact on coping and interventions that support the management of crises. Our well developed links with schools and other settings places us in a good position to offer support at difficult times.

We have worked with schools and other settings following a wide range of incidents. These have included the injury or death of children, parents and staff after accidents or other incidents. As part of our critical incident service we:

  • Provide training and information on critical incidents, their impact and strategies that support the effective management of a crisis. The SCPS  has developed a guidance booklet for school and organisations on the management of critical incidents
  • Offer an emergency consultation service aimed at providing advice and support to those managing the incident

Research and evaluation

Psychologists are trained to carry out research. Our research and evaluation service offers schools, other Children's Services and organisations the opportunity to explore and evaluate context based needs and outcomes.

The focus or questions to be researched are developed in collaboration with the client and an appropriate research method agreed.

Our close working links with two of London's top Universities mean we have access to update research literature and data bases. Recent local research topics included:

  • The role and training of designated teachers
  • The effectiveness of a school-based language programme
  • The effectiveness of a group-based CBT programme in primary  school
  • The investigation of effective early years transition practices

Contact

Arrange a commissioning consultation where we will discuss your needs.