St Helens EPS typically works at three levels adopting an Assess–Plan–Do-Review cycle in order to adhere to St Helens Graduated Approach for SEND. These levels involve:
Educational Psychologists work flexibly to help meet the needs of schools, settings and other organisations. Input may involve supporting the development and evaluation of school and local authority systems, policies, plans and projects and involve the application of research skills.
The aim would be to support settings and organisations in developing initiatives and systems that embrace diversity and reduce barriers to participation, learning and achievement. This way of working maximises the use of Educational Psychology time and affects change on a greater scale for the children and young people within St Helens Local Authority
Educational Psychologists are able to apply a psychological perspective when working with groups of school practitioners, students and parents/carers. Specific requirements would be taken into account and may involve training and CPD (Continuing Professional Development).
Educational Psychologists may work on an individual basis via (i) assessment, (ii) consultation and/or (iii) intervention with school practitioners, students and parents/carers depending upon concerns raised through the referral process. These are explained below:
Consultation is a problem-solving approach (based on psychological models and principles) involving a variety of professionals and/or parents who bring concerns for exploration. It involves the need to speak directly with those who hold the greatest concern and may have the greatest motivation to effect change. An Educational Psychologist facilitates the discussion using a psychological framework to enable positive and realistic solutions.
Educational Psychologists are able to apply a range of techniques to highlight an individual’s strengths and areas for development. Individual assessments typically involve collecting and synthesising information in order to psychologically formulate and reach appropriate recommendations. Such methods may involve observations and/or curriculum-based, standardised, dynamic and play-based assessments. These may focus on:
- a child/young person’s academic and developmental profile;
- the learning/school context;
- barriers to successful development;
- an individual’s approach to learning;
- a review of, and recommendations for, provision.
Psychologically-based intervention promotes the holistic development of the child or young person. With up-to-date knowledge of evidence-based interventions, Educational Psychologists are able to support staff with the design, implementation and evaluation of these.