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Educational Psychology

Who are Educational Psychologists?

Educational Psychologists are specialists in learning, emotional well-being and child development. We work directly or indirectly with children and young people. We also provide advice to their parents and other adults who teach and support them. In Cornwall, Educational Psychologists (EPs) work as part of the Children's Psychology Service. This is part of Children and Family Services.

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We are Educational Psychologists, which is a protected statutory title. We all have enhanced Disclosure and Barring checks. We are all registered to practise by the Health Care Professions Council.    

Vision: Children and young people at the heart of everything we do

Mission: Using psychology to enable positive change

Core Values:

  • Inclusive
  • Collaborative
  • Child-centred
  • Strengths based
  • Empowering

We work with children and young people, their families and educational settings.  Our role is to promote positive outcomes for vulnerable groups of children and young people including:

  • children and young people with general or specific learning difficulties
  • children and young people with physical disabilities and significant medical needs
  • children and young people in care and those who have Social Care involvement
  • young people with emotional and mental health needs who may also present with behavioural difficulties

The Educational Psychology Service provides specific pieces of statutory and core work. We are funded to provide this free to educational settings within Cornwall.

Statutory Work

Cornwall Educational Psychology Service is the sole provider commissioned by Cornwall Council to carry out statutory psychological work in order to assess children and young people with special educational needs.  

On behalf of the Local Authority we fulfil the following statutory duties: 

  • Providing assessment and written Psychological Advice. We do this as part of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment of a child or young person (aged 0-25)
  • Providing assessment and Psychological Advice. We do this as part of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs re-assessment of a child or young person (aged 0-25)
  • Providing psychological knowledge and opinion at Special Educational Needs and Disability tribunals. We do this for children or young people on behalf of the local authority
  • Contribution to the Statutory Special Educational Needs Panel
  • High priority casework requested by the Manager of the Statutory SEN Team. This is agreed by the Principal Educational Psychologist

Core Work

Cornwall Educational Psychology Service undertakes a number of applied psychological tasks. This is to support improved outcomes for those children where Cornwall Council has other statutory duties. Criteria for all core work:

The child or young person is on the roll of a state educational setting within Cornwall and: 

  • Is in care to Cornwall Council
  • Is subject to a Cornwall Council Child Protection Plan
  • Is a child in care for whom a  Recovery Plan is being written

and the child or young person has significant social, emotional and or special educational needs. Documented evidence is required before Educational Psychology involvement can be agreed. This must demonstrate that the child or young person’s difficulties are persistent, despite the educational setting having taken relevant and purposeful action over time, as set out in the Code of Practice. In addition the child or young person may also be at risk of:

  • Permanent exclusion
  • Placement breakdown

Work with a child in care or with a child subject to a Child Protection Plan is time-limited. This will usually involve one cycle of:

  • assess
  • plan
  • do and
  • review

Additional work can be purchased via our traded services in regards to the above children and young people. This could include:

  • a range of assessments
  • delivery of interventions
  • attendance at prioritised meetings and
  • providing advice and guidance to the professional network around the child or young person. 

What if you would like the Educational Psychology Service to work with children and young people who do not meet the above criteria? Educational settings can buy service time via the Services for Schools website. This can either be as a Service Level Agreement for a whole year or a one off purchase through the flexible option. 

Parents who would like an Educational Psychologist to work with their child need to discuss this with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator for their child’s educational setting to see if this would be appropriate. 

  • Consultations with parents and staff
  • Assessment and intervention for individual pupils
  • Advice on strategies to support children and young people
  • Attendance at multi-agency meetings and review meetings
  • Contributing to EHC needs assessments
  • Training for school staff, other professionals, parents and young people
  • Individual, family and group therapeutic interventions
  • Coaching/supervision for teachers and other staff
  • Undertaking research projects to improve practice/service delivery
  • Systemic work in schools and other organisations 

Where is the service delivered?

We may work with children and young people in their educational setting, at home or in other settings.

How does the service work with parents?

We aim to work in partnership with parents and carers. We encourage them to attend meetings and share their expertise about their child.

Request for Involvement:

For all individual casework, educational settings need to complete a Request for Involvement Form. This must be signed by the person with legal parental responsibility. Please note: for Children in Care this should in the vast majority of cases be signed by the Social Worker and not the foster carer.

Statutory – individual casework

All requests are made by the Statutory SEN team.

Core – individual casework

Once the educational setting’s named Educational Psychologist has agreed their involvement at a Planning Consultation, the signed and completed Request for Involvement Form, should be sent to the directly to that Educational Psychologist. 

Traded – individual casework

Once Educational Psychology time has been purchased via the Services to Schools site, the signed and completed Request for Involvement Form, should be sent to the school’s named Educational Psychologist.