Educational Psychology Service
Mission and Vision
Knowsley Educational Psychology Service aspires to support the Knowsley Children and Young People’s Plan so that, “Knowsley’s a place where all our children have the best start in life, where every family thrives and where all our young people aim high and achieve their potential.”
What is the Educational Psychology Team’s Vision?
Knowsley Educational Psychology Service provides independent professional support and advice to children and young people and their families and a range of local education, health and social care agencies. Through our work, we are committed to improving the life chances of the children and young people of Knowsley who represent the following priorities for the local authority: -
- children and young people with complex special educational needs and/or disability (SEND)
- children and young people at risk of mental health difficulties
- children in care
- pupils in danger of permanent exclusion from school
Our vision is to be child-centred, enthusiastic, empathic, resourceful, transformational and tenacious in our pursuit of high standards and aspirations for all.
What is Educational Psychology?
Educational Psychology is concerned with working with children and young people experiencing difficulties, and with the adults supporting them, in making changes that remove barriers to learning (British Psychological Society, 2013). Educational Psychologists use psychological theory, their knowledge of child development, education and evidence-based practice to strive to improve and optimise the learning and development of all children and young people. They are highly trained psychology graduates who have undertaken further professional studies including a range of postgraduate qualifications and additional work-based training post-qualification. All the Educational Psychologists in the Service are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and work within robust ethical and professional guidelines to ensure we work ethically and professionally. Educational Psychologists undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to work with children and young people. They also receive Continuing Professional Development to ensure that they remain at the forefront of practice and access regular professional supervision.
Who Do Educational Psychologists Work With?
Educational Psychologists work with individuals, groups and at the whole school systemic level to support the delivery of ‘quality first’ teaching and early intervention to support children and young people with identified special educational needs. We work directly with or on behalf of children and young people between the ages of 0-25 who may have severe and persistent needs, their parents and carers, and schools, early years’ and post 16 settings (e.g. further education). Educational Psychologists also work with a range of colleagues from agencies such as health and social care and contribute to multi-agency planning processes for children and young people by attending meetings, providing reports and through training and Continuous Professional Development.
What do Educational Psychologist Do?
In addition to developing initiatives for the local authority in Knowsley, Educational Psychologists contribute to regional and national research and development opportunities in education, training and child development. Educational Psychologists also have a statutory role in providing advice or information to local authorities for children and young people who may have a special educational need or disability (SEND) and are undergoing an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
Most of the work we deliver as Educational Psychologists relates to teaching and learning across four broad areas of development (i.e. social and emotional wellbeing, cognition, physical and sensory, and language and communication). The core functions of the Educational Psychology Service are: -
We are guided by the following principles and core values: -
- Practicing with professionalism, impartiality and accountability
- Focusing on systemic improvement and prevention through the application of psychology via consultation
- Adopting a strengths-based, holistic approach to the assessment of children considering school, family and community systems
- A commitment to both evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence (i.e. to be able to transfer theory into practice and vice versa)
- A dedication to raising standards and making a positive difference in children and young people’s lives
- Keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in education, child development and associated legislation
- Embracing fully inclusive practices when supporting children and young people in their educational settings
How Do Educational Psychologists Work?
Educational Psychologists’ work is underpinned by psychological theory, which emphasises understanding the personal perspective of the individual and identifies systems and practices to facilitate positive changes. We approach our work through a consultative model of service delivery with the aim of building confidence, identifying individual/ group and organisational strengths and facilitating the capacity for change within those that we support. We do this by working with the people who know the children and young people best, e.g. their families, teachers and other professionals who are involved.
Through assessment, Educational Psychologists aim to be able to make a judgement about:-
- The child or young person’s current level of functioning in positive terms (exploring their strengths as well as their needs)
- The main obstacles to learning and various aspects of development as documented according to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 2015: Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social and Emotional Well-being, and Sensory and/or Physical (psychological formulation)
- Identifying further information that needs to be gathered (hypotheses testing)
- Co-constructing appropriate shorter- and longer-term educational goals and priorities which can enhance learning and quality of life
- The teaching approaches and/ or interventions that are the most appropriate in meeting the child or young person’s needs
Meet the Team
Dr Hannah Barton - Principal Educational Psychologist
Dr Trish Lunt - Senior Educational Psychologist
Dr Joanne Dean - Senior Educational Psychologist
Dr Allison Inoue - Senior Educational Psychologist (Specialist Practitioner for Cognition and Learning)
Dr Win Little - Educational Psychologist
Dr Laura Halton - Educational Psychologist
Dr Fran Roberts - Educational Psychologist
Dr Bryony Nicholson-Roberts - Educational Psychologist
Rachel Hanrahan - Trainee Educational Psychologist
Elle Hart - Trainee Educational Psychologist
Ana McSorley - Assistant Educational Psychologist
June Scott – Business Support Assistant
Debra Fairclough - Business Support Assistant
Educational Psychology Service,
Education Improvement Team,
Knowsley MBC, PO Box 21, Municipal Buildings,