Special educational needs – Educational Psychology Service
What is an educational psychologist?
An educational psychologist provides guidance and support to schools on a range of issues including special educational needs. They work with parents, carers and practitioners to identify and support the special educational needs of individual children both at home and school.
All educational psychologists have qualifications in psychology and educational psychology. They may also be qualified teachers with teaching experience in schools.
How can an educational psychologist help my child?
Educational psychologists help children from nursery school through to the age of 19. They assess how best to help your child through observing and working with them at home and school. They will meet with you, with teachers and other professionals involved with your child.
The educational psychologist works closely with you and the staff at your child’s school to plan a programme of support for your child. This programme of support may include:
- special training for your child’s teachers
- extra help with literacy
- classes to improve language skills
- helping your child to make friends and improve their social skills.
The plan is reviewed by both you, the school and the educational psychologist to make sure your child’s needs are being met.
How can I get help from an educational psychologist?
Usually, the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at the school will contact an educational psychologist after deciding that your child might benefit from their help. The school would then contact you to ask for your permission to provide this specialist support and ask your views on what you think will help your child.
If you think your child needs help but you have not been contacted by the school then you should speak to your child’s teacher or the SENCo at the school.
Leaflets for more information
If you want to read more, there are two educational psychology leaflets to download:
- ‘Educational Psychology Service – information for parents and carers’
- ‘Educational psychologist – who’s that?’ A guide for children and young people.