Skip to content

What is an Educational Psychologist?

Educational Psychologists (known as EPs) use psychology to support the learning, development and emotional wellbeing of children and young people.

We work together with parents and carers, educational and other professionals, and children and young people. Our job is to help identify and meet the needs of children and young people, and support educational settings (nurseries, schools, colleges) to find ways forward.

Who do we work with?

Most of our work takes place with educational professionals alongside parents and carers rather than directly with children and young people (aged 0-25). This ensures that the educational settings themselves are best able to support learning, emotional wellbeing and resilience for all their pupils.

Educational settings can consult with an EP to help with significant learning or emotional needs which are complex or have not improved with the support already in place. 

What can you expect from the EP Service?

We help by building the skills and confidence of those involved with the child or young person, by using evidence-based psychological approaches. 

Support for parents and young people

Contactline

01992 588574 (Wednesdays 2pm - 4.30pm)

*During the summer break, we will be running Contactline fortnightly from Wednesday 20 July.  This will be resumed weekly from Wednesday 31 August.*

Contactline is a ‘quick queries’ service for parents, carers, and young people (aged 16-25) where you can speak directly to an EP. You can call if you are a parent or carer of a Hertfordshire child or young person aged between 0-16 or if you are a young person aged between 16-25.

This telephone service is available for all Hertfordshire residents, regardless of whether the child or young person is on roll at a Hertfordshire educational setting.

Contactline can help with:

  • advice about learning and/or emotional wellbeing
  • finding out more about our service
  • signposting to other relevant services 

Support for educational settings

All Hertfordshire state-funded nurseries, schools and further education colleges have a contact EP. Involvement of the EP with school activities is agreed during the contact conversation meeting with the SENCO and/or headteacher. This takes place at least once a year and may be reviewed at other times.

EPs might be involved with a variety of activities, such as:

  • delivering different types of training for staff including updated SEND research or how to deliver evidence-based interventions such as Zones of Regulation, or the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) programme for secondary schools;
  • staff support. This could include working with groups of adults to discuss issues arising in their work and find solutions;
  • consultation about a group with similarly presenting needs or around a theme emerging e.g. executive functioning or whole class wellbeing approaches;
  • consultation for a named child or young person when informed consent has been gained from parents, carers and young person (if over 16 years old;
  • classroom observations and/or individual assessments with a child or young person to further understand their presenting needs and support staff to plan a way forward.

Educational Psychology Consultations

What is an EP consultation?

EP consultation is one way in which the EP service supports schools and families to meet a child/young person's special educational needs.  This is usually part of a school's Assess, Plan, Do, Review process.

EP consultation is a meeting at your child's school between you, the Class Teacher / Head of Year, the SENCo, and the EP.  Sometimes a young person joins in too. During this meeting everyone will have the opportunity to share their knowledge, views and ideas.  The EPs role is to guide the conversation, ask questions and support others to plan a way forward for the child / young person.  The EP will use their knowledge of child development and psychological understanding to support the process.  

Why do we use consultation?

Consultation is effective because it helps everyone to have a shared understanding of the issues, identifies small steps that are focussed on specific short term outcomes and by the end of the meeting participants know what they need to do to support the child/young person.

How can parents prepare for an EP consultation?

Consultations works best when adults come to the consultation well prepared and with relevant information. 

Before the EP consultation, a member of school staff will have supported you to complete and sign a Service Request Form and an ISL Baseline Assessment Form.  Copies of these will have been sent to the EP and read prior to the meeting.  

If there is any additional information or documentation that you think is important to share with the EP, please bring this along with you. 

If you have any questions or concerns before the meeting, please speak to the SENCo at your child's school. 

What happens next?

During the consultation, notes will be taken as a record of the conversation and agreed ways forward.  These notes will be stored electronically by the EP service, in accordance with HCC's policies and data protection requirements. 

You will receive a copy of these notes following the consultation, however you are also welcome to take your own notes during the meeting.

A review date will be set approximately 6-8 weeks later which is usually attended by you and school staff.  The review meeting is to discuss progress and the impact of the agreed ways forward.  The SENCo will take and share notes from the Review meeting with the EP and, if necessary, further involvement from the EP service will then be discussed.

Support for statutory processes relating to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

EPs undertake a range of work related to EHCPs including:

  • involvement with Education Heath and Care Needs Assessments (EHCNAs);
  • advice to support the annual review process, if there is a significant change in need or provision;
  • providing a psychological perspective to assist local authority decision making e.g. through panels;
  • giving their impartial views when a parent or carer appeals a decision made by the local authority.

Our involvement in the education, health and care needs assessment

When you apply for an assessment of your child's need to see if they qualify for an education, health and care plan (EHCP), a panel that includes our Deputy Principal Educational Psychologist (DPEP) make a decision whether or not to assess.

If the decision is made to asses your child's needs, this is the process of our involvement, although it will look slightly different for each child.

When the decision to assess your child's needs is made

  • Our Deputy Principal Educational Psychologist (DPEP) reads all of the information received as part of your EHC application.
  • Based on this, they make a suggestion about how much EP involvement they feel is needed during your child's assessment of need, and assign an EP to you.

An EP is assigned to you and a plan is agreed

  • Your assigned EP reads the information and advices from your application, to consider if they agree with the DPEP's suggestions. The EP is able to decide on a different route if they feel it is needed.
  • Your EP will speak to you to explain their planned approach to involvement in your child's assessment of need, and describe the activities that will take place.
  • You will be asked to give your consent to the plans; you have a right to not consent if you wish. If you are not happy with the suggested approach, you can work with your EP to agree a different plan. 

What our involvement may include

  • We decide on the level of our involvement based on what evidence and advice you have already from other professionals.
  • If you have worked a lot with the SEND specialist advisory service already, for example, we may not need to meet your child, because we can use their detailed information to base our advice on. 
  • For more complex cases, we may have more involvement. For example, we may need to XXX

EP involvement is carried out and the advices are shared

  • You, your SEN Officer, and your school will receive the agreed advices from your EP.
  • The advices will differ for every child, so that in each process, we deliver quality advice that addresses their individual needs and includes specific, goal based outcomes.

Crisis response

We provide support for educational settings following critical incidents such as the serious injury or unexpected death of a child, member of staff, parent or carer. Once aware of the incident, response to the educational setting is within one working day.

How can our service be accessed?

If you think an EP might be helpful, you can talk to us by calling Contactline, or talk to the SENCo.

Requests from an educational setting for an EP to become involved are considered during contact conversations between the setting and contact EP. 

Your school or setting must always gain parental consent, and agree it with their contact EP,  before they can request our support through the service request form (PDF 1.33mb)  The school will also need to show us what they have already tried to meet the needs of the pupil by completing the ISL Baseline Assessment Form for School Staff only

Who is in Herts EPS?

All EPs have a master’s degree and/or doctorate in educational psychology and are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) as practitioner psychologists.

Herts EPS includes trainee EPs who are on placement in Hertfordshire and have regular supervision with a qualified EP. We also employ psychology assistants who deliver training and other support to the EPS.

Other useful information and organisations

SEND SAS is made up of specialist advisory teachers who can support children and young people with different areas of need.

Support and advice if your child is struggling with school based anxiety and avoidance.

Organisations in Hertfordshire where you can be meet other families like yours and find support.

SEND Information, Advice and Support Service

Page was last updated on: 16/05/2022 10:18:54

Cookies

Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit AboutCookies.org.

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.


Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for

ASP.Net_Sessions

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

ServerID

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

_ga

Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

saved-pages

Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month

geoPostcode

Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

geoCoordinates

Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

reckonerName-history

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

reckonerName-content

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION

Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on eservices.hertfordshire.gov.uk

Just for the time you are on our website.


Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.

Bing

We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.

Google

We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.

Facebook

We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.

Twitter

We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.

YouTube

We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.

Netloan

This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.

 

HotJar

This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.

Siteimprove

These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.