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Information for parents/carers about the Swindon Educational Psychology Service

Page created: 08/06/2022

What is an Educational Psychologist (EP)?

  • An Educational Psychologist works with children and young people aged 0 – 25 years of age with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
  • We work in a variety of ways, such as:

           - individual work with children and young people, their families and their school;

           - group work with children and young people in educational settings;

           - deliver training to teachers and other professionals within the Local Authority;

           - deliver programmes such a Cygnet training (support for parents of children and young people with Autism) and training for foster parents/carers.

  • We use psychological tools and approaches to help everyone have a shared understanding of a child or young person’s needs and difficulties, and plan the next steps for their support.
  • Our aim is to empower the people we work with, and promote positive changes for children and young people’s learning, development and emotional well-being.

Why might an Educational Psychologist see my child or young person?

An Educational Psychologist might see a child or young person if they are experiencing difficulties that affect their learning.   

These difficulties include:

  • Thinking (cognition) and learning;
  • Social, emotional and mental health;
  • Communication and interaction (including Autistic Spectrum Condition);
  • Physical and sensory needs.

How does an Educational Psychologist become involved with my child or young person?

The SENCo will contact the Educational Psychologist if they have concerns about your child or young person. 

Unless the young person is 18 years of age or older, the SENCo will always talk to you about their concerns first and seek your permission to contact the Educational Psychology Service. 

If you have concerns about your child or young person, you should always speak to their teacher or the SENCo first. 

How to contact us:

Email: EPSenquiries@swindon.gov.uk

What happens when an Educational Psychologist becomes involved with my child or young person?

When working with an individual child or young person, an Educational Psychologist may: 

  • Hold a joint problem solving discussion with you, their teachers or other relevant staff and professionals. 
  • Observe your child or young person (e.g. in class; in the playground)
  • Ask your child or young person some questions about their interests, what they find difficult, what they wish to change and what they think might help them.
  • Ask your child or young person to complete some activities.
  • Write a report summarising the discussions and next steps.
  • Hold a review at a late date to review the impact of any changes made.

What questions might the Educational Psychologist ask me?

The Educational Psychologist may ask:

  • What do you like and admire about…..?
  • What are .... strengths?
  • What are .... difficulties? What challenges do you face?
  • What do you hope to gain from Educational Psychology involvement?
  • What do you hope for their future?
  • What do you think needs to change?
  • What do you think might help?

Educational Psychologists and the Graduated Response to SEND

Educational Psychologists are part of the ‘Graduated Response’ to supporting SEND. 

The Graduated Response uses an Assess, Plan, Do, Review approach at every stage.

  • 1. Universal Provision 

This is the support all children receive through high quality teaching (Quality First Teaching):

There is quality teaching for all children and young people.  The teacher identifies a concern relating to a child or young person's progress or barriers to learning.  The child or young person's needs are assessed, A plan of support is made and put in place,  The impact is reviewed.   If concerns remain the child or young person moves to targeted support.

  • 2.Targeted Support

The teacher and SENDCo assess the child or young person.  They are added to the SEND register if appropriate.  The teacher and SENCO plan for support, including gathering parent/carer and child or young person views. They action ideas. The teacher and parent/carers review the impact and continue the cycle of assess, plan do, review at least 3x a year.  If further support is needed, the SENDCo, teacher and parents/carers will carry out further assess, plan, do, review cycles every 6-8 weeks (this may link to Team Around the Child meetings).

An Educational Psychologist may become involved at any stage of the Graduated Response.

For example, they might deliver training or problem solving sessions with teachers to support Universal provision. 

Or, they might be part of the assessment process and planning for next steps to help meet the needs of your child or young person within targeted provision.  

Guidance for what to do if you are concerned about the support your child is receiving can be found on the Frequently asked question page: I am concerned about issues with my child at school, what should I do?

CYGNET Training  

Cygnet training is a programme which supports parents/carers of children and young people age 5 – 18 years who have Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC).

Information on how to access this support can be found via the Cygnet Programme Service Directory Page.

How to contact us:

Email: EPSenquiries@swindon.gov.uk

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