Who we are
The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is a dynamic and innovative service which applies psychology and evidence-based practice, grounded in theory and research, to bring about change in the lives of children and young people (0 to 25 years) in Kingston and Richmond. We work collaboratively with others to build, embed and sustain positive change and provide every child and young person with the opportunity to succeed as effective learners, confident individuals and engaged and informed contributors to society.
- All Educational Psychologists (EPs) working in the Achieving for Children (AfC) EPS have experience of working with children and young people and have a specialist, professional qualification in educational psychology, at a master’s or doctoral level.
- All our EPs are registered as practitioner psychologists with the Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC). They all undertake a comprehensive continuing professional development programme and receive regular, high quality, professional supervision.
- As a service we maintain close links with the London EP training courses, e.g. those based at the University College London (UCL), and the Institute of Education (IOE) in order to support the development and growth of the profession as well as ensuring that the service is up to date with current research and evidence-based interventions.
What we do
Psychology helps us understand how people think, learn, feel and develop. The work of the service is often concerned with supporting the development of learning, social, emotional, behavioural, physical or sensory needs; with the key aim of identifying and overcoming barriers to children’s learning.
AfC EPS operates a consultation model of service delivery that promotes early intervention in order to minimise pupils’ barriers to learning. EPs apply psychology in working with staff, parents, pupils and other agencies in order to generate solutions to concerns and facilitate change. AfC EPs work as a resource for schools for all children, promoting psychological wellbeing, inclusion and raising standards across the full range of age and abilities.
How we work
AfC EPS is based on a consultation model, where it is expected that the majority of our psychological work takes place in consultation meetings, in settings, working directly with the people who own the concern, and are in the best position to implement change. There are times when EP involvement needs to move beyond consultations with school staff and parents/carers in order to explore, and provide a deeper understanding of, all the factors that contribute to children’s/young people’s educational attainment and social and emotional wellbeing. This direct work may involve observations and individual work with the child/young person (using a combination of dynamic assessment, published tests, play-based assessment and therapeutic approaches). Direct work only ever occurs when consultation discussions illustrate that there is a clear rationale to do so, following the generating of ideas (hypotheses) jointly between school staff and EP.
Our aspiration, by designing our service in this way, is to ensure that we spend as much time working with the people in educational settings, who work with children and young people, rather than writing lengthy reports; which research has shown does not necessarily lead to a change in practice.
Key activities of the service can be summarised by the five following activities:
These key activities are undertaken at a variety of different levels: individual, group and organisational. Below are some examples of what the EPS can offer at the different levels of work.
- Psychological assessment to help define the nature and implications of children and young people’s difficulties in order to inform interventions.
- Psychological interventions (including therapeutic interventions).
- Support on setting and evaluating objectives, outcomes and impact.
- Psychological advice to staff focused on narrowing gaps in attainment and improving academic progress.
- Contribute towards multi-agency meetings about a child or young person.
- Psychological interventions to develop particular skills, e.g. academic skills, study skills, thinking skills, overcoming exam stress, improving social skills, self-esteem, dealing with depression or anxiety.
- Psychological interventions focused on narrowing the gap and improving academic progress.
- Support to small groups of staff in managing a particular issue, e.g. challenging behaviour and disaffection.
- Parent workshops and training, e.g. Incredible Years.
Strategic, systems and organisational level
- Support development of whole school strategies and systems.
- Continuing professional development (CPD) for staff on school-determined topics with a psychological basis.
- Project development and research work, e.g. evaluating interventions. We offer a full menu of research and evaluation services designed to help ensure that the interventions and learning packages that schools provide for pupils are evidence-based and proven to be effective.
- Support preparing and responding to school emergencies.
- Multi-agency involvement and contribution to strategic developments across AfC services.
How the EPS delivery is organised
All Local Authority (LA) maintained schools and Academies across Kingston and Richmond are provided with a core (‘free’) amount of EP time and have a named linked EP. As AfC EPS is a semi-traded service, schools are also able to purchase additional time from the service in order to provide additional hours and embed psychology within the school system.
At the beginning of each academic term, school staff meet with their allocated school EP in order to discuss school needs and priority areas of work. All requests for EP involvement and intervention are negotiated and seen in the context of the overall needs of the school.
How the EPS is accessed
As a parent/carer, if you are concerned about your child, speak to your child’s preschool, school, or college in the first instance. We are a targeted service and for most children, education staff will be able to assess and meet children’s/young people’s needs. If an EP is required, the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) will contact their linked EP and arrange a consultation.
The service operates from two central bases: one in Kingston and one in Richmond. If you need to get in contact with the service directly, please use the most appropriate telephone number below (dependent upon the borough in which your child attends school):
- Kingston: 020 8547 6699
- Richmond: 020 8487 5464
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org