When might an educational psychologist (EP) become involved?
A school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) may feel that they would benefit from support and consultation around broader SEND issues within their educational setting. This may include how they use assessments, how to plan, implement and deliver effective provision and how to identify and support staff training needs. If this is the case, they can commission consultation with their educational psychologist to discuss the issues and develop packages of support. All work will be negotiated and agreed between the school and their educational psychologist before delivery.
An educational psychologist may also be asked to provide support regarding a child or young person at preschool, school or college when they are believed to experience difficulties in relation to:
- their progress and learning
- expressing themselves and/or understanding what other people say to them
- making friendships and relating to their peers
- managing their feelings and behaviours
- physical, sensory or health needs which are believed to be impacting on their development and education
When will an educational psychologist become involved with a child or young person?
Co-ordinated by the school's SENCo, at least one cycle of assess-plan-do-review of a child or young person's needs will have been undertaken before educational psychologist involvement is requested (as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and our graduated response). This will usually include using a SEND Support Plan. Within Central Bedfordshire, we provide educational psychologist involvement for children and young people who meet any of the following core indicators:
- children and young people with ongoing complex and severe needs, who are highly likely to meet the our guidance for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment
- children and young people who are in the process of undergoing an EHC Needs Assessment
- children and young people with existing Statements of SEN or EHC Plans, where there is continued concern, or a significant change in their needs or circumstances
An educational setting may wish to seek advice from an educational psychologist, even though the above core indicators are not met. In this case, the work would be discussed with the setting’s link educational psychologist and there would be a charge for the work undertaken.
The charges are currently £92 per hour (£101 for academies) or £276 per individual pupil assessment (£303 for academies.) Your link educational psychologist will be able to confirm the cost of any work to be undertaken, prior to it being carried out. Your school will be invoiced once the work has been completed.
How are children referred to us?
In Central Bedfordshire, the Educational Psychology Service can only be requested by schools.
School staff should always discuss concerns with parents first and only request for an educational psychologist to become involved with parental agreement.
The SENCo should first ensure that their educational psychologist has an up-to-date copy of the Preparing to work with your EP form, which provides an overview of SEND provision at the school. They can then request a planning meeting or a 20 minute telephone consultation (where only one or two pupil(s) need discussing). Schools should always discuss referrals with their link EP in a planning meeting or telephone consultation. It might be that actions developed during this conversation mean that an individual referral is unnecessary.
Schools should refer to the flowchart steps outlined in Working with your Educational Psychologist (PDF 283.2KB) .
If an individual referral is agreed, SENCo and parents will need to fill out the referral form.
- the form can be saved for 30 days
- you can copy and paste, if you have made notes in advance
- one section of the form is for parents' views; ideally, this should be completed with parents present, but you can collate their views in advance
- have all your additional documents / evidence scanned and saved, ready to upload at the end of the form
- consider printing the parental consent form (PDF 140.8KB) in advance, so you can ask parents to sign the form in advance, with it scanned in and ready to upload when completing the form
- the referral will be emailed to you once submitted
- the maximum total size of all form attachments is 30MB. If your files are larger than this, you could consider compressing them using compression technology such as ZIP files
- any referral not discussed with the link educational psychologist will be returned