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Kirklees EP Service

Educational psychology

Kirklees educational psychologists believe every child, with or without SEN (Special Educational Needs), has the ability to achieve, to enjoy positive emotional health and well-being, and the right to belong. We are confident that the thoughtful application of psychology can transform children's lives for the better. We believe that children thrive when they are included in their local community and we are committed to supporting parents and schools to help this happen.

Kirklees Educational Psychologists are trained to understand what helps children:

  • learn,
  • think and problem-solve,
  • communicate,
  • develop relationships,
  • a child or young person with an Education, Health and Care Plan has a significant change in their SEN which might require a different type of approach or educational setting.
The Kirklees EP service has produced a presentation which helps to explain what the offer of support for schools from this service looks like.

You can access it by clicking the image below:

About the service

We are funded by Kirklees Local Authority to help schools support children and young people when:

  • children or young people are in care and are failing to make progress,
  • schools are considering the use of permanent exclusion,
  • an Education, Health and Care needs assessment has been agreed,
  • a school community is experiencing a significant traumatic event,
  • a child or young person with an Education, Health and Care Plan has a significant change in their SEN which might require a different type of approach or educational setting.

Additionally, in maintained schools, we also provide an Initial Consultation when a child at SEN Support whose attainment development is well below that of other children and who is not making progress in school. Our involvement would follow a high level of support and intervention by school staff and parents working together with any other appropriate professionals over time.

If it is agreed through this Initial Consultation that further assessment by an Educational Psychologist is needed then the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) or Headteacher can discuss how best to access this with the Educational Psychology Service.

When an educational psychologist becomes involved

An educational psychologist may become involved when parents and staff remain concerned about a child's development and/or progress in school even though the SENCo has:

  • worked with parents and teachers over an extended period of time to agree targets, strategies, and interventions,
  • involved specialist outreach teams for example for autism, speech, language and communication, physical and sensory impairment, and other professionals where this is appropriate.

The decision about whether a referral to our team would be helpful is made either at termly planning meetings between SENCo and school Educational Psychologist or through an Additional Needs Partnership.

We offer a range of services to help support the needs of your school. When you contact the Educational Psychologist (EP) we will offer you termly planning meetings where you will have the opportunity to discuss and prioritise your needs and any necessary input.

Free core service

To make sure we support our most vulnerable children and young people in all our schools, we provide our services free of charge, when:

  • A child is in care and is failing to make progress
  • schools are considering the use of permanent exclusion
  • an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment has been agreed
  • A school is experiencing a significant traumatic event or critical incident
  • A child or young person with a statement or EHC plan has a significant change in their SEN, which might require a different approach or educational setting
  • facilitation of Additional Needs Partnerships (ANPs)

Additionally for maintained schools:

  • A free initial consultation to those children at SEN support who have the most complex needs and who have already received the highest level of support and input the school can offer

Traded service

We are able to offer support at an individual, small group and whole school level around needs in the areas of:

  • cognition and learning
  • social, emotional and mental health
  • social communication and interaction
  • physical and sensory impairment.

Our input can involve consultation, assessment, intervention, research and staff development, including training and support around whole school strategy and development.

In every case, your school EP will work with you and draw upon the range of psychological expertise we have as a team, to make sure that we tailor each agreed package of support to the particular needs of the child and to your education setting. We will agree this with you before the start of our involvement.

We are committed to ethical practice and will always help schools to explore how they might use their existing resources and access to free services, prior to agreeing EP input.

Consultation

We begin school-based involvement in individual cases with a problem-solving meeting, which we call an ‘Initial Consultation’ with parents and teacher.

We use a consultation approach because research shows us involving adults who know and care for the child best increases the success of interventions. We know from experience that working together with parents, carers and school staff is essential to understanding the unique needs of each child.

Using this approach helps us to make sure that we can tailor the agreed package of support to suit the child and their school situation.

Available to schools free of charge to those pupils who are identified through our core offer and in other cases through our traded offer.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment tools including observation, pupil interviews, cognitive assessments, interview schedules and checklists, standardised assessments and group problem-solving models, which help, identify the child's strengths and difficulties in an agreed area. Using these and other assessments, we are able to help you arrive at an understanding of your child's needs and to identify strategies and interventions that school staff and parents can use to help the child make progress.

Available to schools free of charge to those pupils who are identified through our core offer and in other cases through our traded offer.

Psychological Interventions

Where appropriate, we will work alongside staff or parents to help implement psychological recommendations and interventions agreed through the assessment process for individuals and groups. Psychological intervention might focus on, for example, developing trusting and positive relationships, study skills literacy and numeracy skills, social skills and emotional literacy and regulation.

Available to schools through our traded offer.

Staff development

There are many ways that we can help staff develop understanding, confidence and skills within a specific area. These include training, workshops, drop-in consultations, whole staff consultations and providing individual supervision of facilitating peer supervision.

The focus of these types of input may relate to the particular complexity of an individual case or to themes including, understanding and managing difficult behaviour, helping children learn, cooperative learning and creating nurturing classrooms.

For further information about the wide range of training and development opportunities we can offer, please contact your school's educational psychologist to discuss your particular needs.

Available to schools through our traded offer.

Whole school initiatives

We support school staff members with a lead responsibility for developing strategy and systems in relation to issues that are affecting their whole school. For example promoting well-being and positive mental health, responding to loss and bereavement and supporting positive engagement and behaviour in the classroom.

For those schools who are interested in finding out what works for staff and pupils in their school, we are able to carry out research and project development work in a range of areas.

Available to schools through our traded offer.

Additional needs partnerships

Some schools choose to work very closely together to share practice around special educational needs (SEN) by forming an Additional Needs Partnership (ANP). This means that SENCos, within a particular group of schools local to each other, meet on a regular basis alongside an educational psychologist to discuss useful strategies and approaches that will support children with a variety of SEN.

Available to schools free of charge to those pupils who are identified through our core offer.

Contact Educational Psychology
Last updated: 07/12/2020