Educational Psychology

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Information about Educational Psychology

Published on March 13, 2014

Author: sussexcdec



Presentation by Dr Emma Woodward, Educational Psychologist at Brighton & Hove City Council, March 2014


What is an Educational Psychologist? Our main role is to remove the barriers to learning. To do this we apply psychology to help the emotional development and educational progress of children and young people between the ages of 0-19.

Barriers to learning  Academic barriers – specific learning difficulties, learning difficulties/disabilities, access to appropriate educational provision.  Emotional barriers – attachment, anxiety, motivation.  Physical/Medical barriers – physical disability, epilepsy, autism.  Social barriers – aspirations, culture.  These are not mutually exclusive.

Applying psychology There are varying psychological frameworks that we work to:-  Psychodynamic – Bion, Freud – looking at relationships and a persons’ sense of self – projection and transference.  Systemic – exploring a person’s concern in the context of their ‘system’- family, school etc..  Solution focused – supporting a person view their concern in terms of ways forward.  CBT – looking at the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviour.  Most EPs work using most of these frameworks interchangeably to form an holistic and responsive approach.

We work at three levels:-  Organisational level Supporting the strategic development of school education policies to support inclusion Championing the voice of the child in the wider organisation  Group level Running groups for children Training for parents/teaching staff  Individual level Children, parents, teachers

How we work:-  We each are allocated a ‘patch’ of schools (based on area and including early years, primary, secondary and special).  We also make links with local community groups and children’s centres.  We work closely with other professionals, including – education, health, and social care.  We work in an integrated manner meaning that we apply psychology in every encounter to ensure the adults around the child work as effectively as possible.  Some local authorities have now adopted a traded services model.

What do Educational Psychologists do?  Tackle the problems encountered by young people in education, (learning difficulties and social or emotional problems).  Enable teachers to become more aware of the factors affecting teaching and learning.  Support parents/carers understand child development to enable them to support their child.  Write reports about children for allocation of special educational places, or as part of court proceedings or children's panels.  Some Educational Psychologists have areas of special interest (Children in Care, ASC etc..)

We do this using:-  Research  Consultation  Training  Observations  Individual assessment  Supervision  Our main role is to develop and test hypothesis about the concern using our psychological knowledge.  We don’t always need to see the child, it is most helpful to help those working with the child to solve their own problems as they have the lasting relationship with the child.

Case Study…

A typical week..... Never the same! AM PM Monday Observing Yr 6 class to support whole class teaching strategies Running a drop in for parents Tuesday Supporting pastoral staff at a secondary school develop student engagement 1:1 session with Yr 5 teacher on supporting children with attachment difficulties Wednesday Running a focus group with pupils at risk of exclusion for a piece action research using appreciative inquiry Giving a presentation at Sussex University Thursday Meeting with a social worker Admin Friday Attending a Team around the Child meeting for a child with complex epilepsy. Home visit for a family with a child with ASC, whom I have been working with for the past two years.

How to become an Educational Psychologist  To become an Educational Psychologist you need to have an undergraduate degree in psychology and then complete a three year Doctorate in Educational Psychology.  It is preferred that applicants have a 2.1 or above in a first psychology-based degree that grants them eligibility for Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society (BPS)  You will also need at least two years relevant experience of working with children and young people. This can include roles such as assistant educational psychologist, teacher, classroom or learning assistant, SEN co-ordinator or research activity with children and young people. Other relevant experience is also considered

The important bit! The pay for an EP is in accordance with the Soulbury pay scale (currently):-  1 £33,934  2 £35,656  3 £37,378  4 £39,100  5 £40,822  6 £42,544  7 £44,165  8 £45,786  9 ** £47,305  10 ** £48,825  11 ** £50,243

Over to you! Any questions or thoughts? For further information please see:-  psychology 

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