Educational Psychology Service (EP)
As a team of educational psychologists, we are acutely aware of the high levels of stress, anxiety and uncertainty being experienced across the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This situation is unprecedented and means we are all coping with radical changes to our daily lives.
We are keen to do everything we can to support those who use our services, particularly children and young people, parents, carers and colleagues working in schools.
We have produced a set of documents which we hope you’ll find helpful. They include information, advice and resources for:
- Parents, school staff and other adults who are supporting children and young people; and
- Children and young people themselves.
Coronovirus Support - read our new support and advice document for families
Coronovirus support for schools - read our Recovery Framework document
These documents contain both practical guidance and tips for maintaining well-being during this difficult period.
Circumstances are changing for us all on a daily, if not hourly basis. The staff of Middlesbrough Psychology Service are currently working remotely and you can reach us in the usual ways, via telephone and email.
We will be providing further information about the services and support we will be offering during this pandemic.
Please do get in touch with us if you have concerns. Tel: 01642 201831 or email Psychologyserviceenquiries@middlesbrough.gov.uk
What are the aims and purpose of Middlesbrough Psychology Service?
Educational Psychologists (EPs) are employed by Middlesbrough Council to help support the Mayor’s vision of a fairer, safer and stronger Middlesbrough. EPs working for Middlesbrough Psychology Service aim to support the achievement and wellbeing of children and young people, aged 0-25 years. In particular they aim to promote the educational and social inclusion of any vulnerable groups of children and young people including those with special educational needs.
Who are Educational Psychologists?
Educational Psychologist is a registered title with the Health and Care Professions Council; all EPs have followed an extensive training route over at least 6 years. Some of our EPs are also qualified teachers, others have worked in other roles in schools supporting children and young people. All EPs have experience of working in a range of educational settings, with a range of young people with differing needs. EP’s knowledge of psychology, child development and change processes helps them to support schools, parents, and other professionals to best meet the needs of children and young people.
How do EPs work?
EPs engage in a range of activities to help schools and others. This includes working with the local authority and schools to develop strategic plans; delivering training to schools and other services; providing intervention and support; consulting with key adults involved with a young person; and direct work (e.g. observation and assessment) with a young person.
Where do EPs work?
EPs are funded by Middlesbrough Council to provide a core service to local schools and in other-commissioned settings such as support bases and special schools. They also work in other settings (such as academies and schools outside of Middlesbrough) who have a service level agreement with the MPS.
What do EPs do when they are asked to be involved with a child/ young person?
At the beginning of each term, EPs and school staff have a planning meeting to explore the school’s needs for the coming term and to identify priorities. All requests for EP involvement are negotiated within the context of the overall needs of the school.
EPs who work for the Middlesbrough Psychology Service operate within a consultation framework. This means they talk with people who know the child or young person well and who are in the position to make decisions and implement strategies. At a consultation meeting, an EP would support discussion about:
- What is going well and helping promote progress;
- What is causing people concern or is a barrier to progress;
- What else can be done to help and promote further progress.
At the consultation meeting an action plan will be agreed and a further follow up meeting arranged. Sometimes direct work from an EP is agreed to help further understand the situation or carry out additional planning. An EP might:
- observe a child young person in school;
- work with a child / young person to find out more about their skills and perspective;
- deliver training to staff; or
- collaborate with staff to develop further plans.
At the follow up meeting, often around 6 weeks later, the action plan is reviewed and an updated perspective of progress and concerns is discussed. The review meeting would negotiate whether there was a need for further involvement.
This kind of involvement would always proceed with the agreement of parents / those with parental responsibility.
Why do we work within a consultative framework?
Our framework for delivery is consistent with our service values. We value:
- Supporting children and young people to live more fulfilling lives;
- Having a strengths based approach, respecting individual differences;
- Working in ways that foster collaboration, build relationships and enable others to build relationships;
- Working in ways that appreciate the knowledge, skills and expertise of families and colleagues in schools and partner agencies;
- Working within a service where continuous learning and development are paramount; and
- Promoting an environment of openness to learning and development in those we work with.
Our framework for delivery is also informed by psychological theory. It is consistent with both professional practice guidelines of the British Psychological Society and the emphasis within current legislation and code of practice guidelines.
Consent to become involved with a child or young person
EPs gain written consent from parents or those with parental responsibility before they have discussions about, or involvement with, named children/ young people. We prioritise and value meeting parents/ carers alongside school staff, before agreeing to undertake any direct work with a child / young person.
How to access an EP
The MPS does not work on a referral basis. The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) is the main contact in school who coordinates the work of an EP. If you are a professional or a parent concerned about a child, and think EP involvement might be helpful, it would be appropriate to raise the child with the school’s SENCo. The SENCo can explore concerns with you in the first instance and can, if appropriate, discuss further with the EP.
EP involvement is also requested by the Local Authority, for example to provide advice for a statutory assessment or to review progress of a child or young person with and Education Health and Care Plan. In the case of statutory assessment, EP involvement is a legal requirement.
The Quality Assurance of Middlesbrough Psychology Service
EPs working for the Middlesbrough Psychology Service are all HCPC registered and have enhanced DBS status. Their professional development is maintained and their clinical supervision is provided in line the relevant professional quality assurance frameworks.
Middlesbrough Psychology Service has close links with the University of Newcastle, the provider of EP training in the north east of England. Doctoral Trainee Educational Psychologists from the Newcastle course work with Middlesbrough Psychology Service; all receive high quality supervision in line with the requirements of the University.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Middlesbrough Psychology Service
- 01642 201831
Most contact with the Service is through schools and settings.
Where to go
Middlesbrough Psychology Service
3rd Floor Middlesbrough House
- TS1 9FT