Educational psychologists have gained a psychology degree and undertaken postgraduate professional training in educational psychology. This enables them to combine an understanding of children's learning, behaviour and educational development within educational systems. A condition of employment for educational psychologists in Dundee is that they are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and maintain their professional competence through continuing professional development.
Providing a Service
Educational psychologists work with schools, families, the local authority and nationally. They are a statutory service under the 1980 Education Act (as amended by the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004). In keeping with statutory expectations and recommendations from a national review of Psychological Services, DEPS provides a service within Dundee to address four connected themes:
- consultation and advice
- assessment and intervention
- training and development work
- research and policy advice
Each school has a link educational psychologist. Prioritising how the educational psychologist's time is used by a school is negotiated jointly between the educational psychologist and the school. Annual review of the partnership agreement between the school and the link psychologist will evaluate the impact of the shared work in relation to the four themes identified above. Supporting positive change means that we work collaboratively and develop good partnerships. These considerations also mean that the impact of the psychologists work is often indirect, and specific strategies will be delivered through relevant adults (teachers, parents, carers).
Consultation involves a meeting between all relevant people about a child or young person, for example parent, teacher, psychologist. Together in the initial consultation, they try to establish the current situation, the outcomes sought and success criteria, and agree actions to be carried out. Advice given should be practical, avoid jargon and be relevant to the situation and identified needs.
Assessment is a process which involves gathering information from a variety of sources in a range of settings over a period of time. It involves parents, carers, teachers, and the young person. The purpose of educational psychology assessment is to inform future intervention. It should take into account cognitive, emotional and social factors. The ultimate aim of effective educational psychology assessment is usually to limit the effects of barriers to learning and to promote the inclusion of the child or young person. Where the educational psychologist is involved directly in an assessment or intervention this would normally take place within a young person's normal environment, for example a home visit or an observation in school. We follow the British Psychological Society guidelines on assessment.