Educational Psychologist School Support - Aylesbury
Educational Psychologist School Support
Educational Psychologists (EPs) undertake a range of work aimed at promoting inclusion, psychological well-being and raising standards for children and young people aged 0 to 19 years, across the full range of abilities. The Buckinghamshire County Council Educational Psychology Service (EPS) includes qualified Educational Psychologists registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, trainee Educational Psychologists on supervised placements, graduate Psychology Assistants and a management and leadership team.
The teamwork with Buckinghamshire maintained schools, academies and specialist settings, for example where learning and/or development is giving significant cause for concern despite early intervention. In the first instance, we offer schools virtual consultation support. As part of this intervention, we meet with schools to discuss children and young people (CYP) that the school SENDCo has identified as potentially having special educational needs. This space is used to explore and hopefully further understand the needs of the CYP, possible barriers to learning, and to signpost to provision or resources that may best support the needs discussed. In line with our parental/carer consent principles, these meetings are confidential, CYP are discussed anonymously and we do not record any details of the CYP we are discussing. However, should the school SENDCo wish to take notes during the consultation as a memory aide, it will be their responsibility in how they store and use this information. The school may include more information on these processes in their SEND policy. In some cases, there may be a case for direct work with children and young people. In these cases parental consent is essential.
The Local Authority has a statutory role in relation to Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. The team provides professional advice to the Local Authority under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to assessment of Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, Annual Reviews and Tribunal appeals and contributes to decision-making panels and Independent Review Panels for excluded pupils. The team also contributes to and advises schools about research and evidence-based interventions and strategies.
In addition, the EP Team deliver a range of work focused on prevention and early intervention. This includes continuing to supervise staff who work with CYP experiencing significant SEMH (including ELSAs and nurture practitioners), as well as developing new training for SEMH practitioners, parents and schools. There will also be expanded capacity for the ‘Request for EP Advice’ work, which allows schools, parents or professionals to request early intervention support from the EP Team. Requests are prioritised according to indicators of high need and vulnerability (e.g. Social Care involvement, Emotional Based School Avoidance), and may lead to signposting, consultations and/or direct involvement from members of the EP Team. Please see the Local Offer for the request form and more details on the relevant processes.
Nurture, ELSA and SEMH supervision
We want to thank you all for your patience in waiting for updates in relation to our non-statutory offer to schools. We have taken the decision not to run new ELSA training this year, instead investing in producing our own training for schools. A team of EPs will be working on this across this academic year. We hope to produce a bank of accessible training resources which cover the skills incorporated in the ELSA programme and more. The intention is to make these recorded sessions that can be accessed continually – our hope is that this will provide flexibility for school staff to access it around individual working patterns and to train up new starters across the full year. We will keep you updated on our progress – as this is a new venture for us it is a little difficult to give concrete time-frames at this stage. We will also let schools know if we are in a position to offer our 2-day Nurture Training later this year.
We will continue to provide supervision to our currently trained ELSAs and Nurture practitioners. We hope to extend this offer to other staff who are working in similar roles in schools. Over time our intention is to run regular supervision for a range of practitioners working with our most vulnerable pupils in schools and who have significant SEMH needs. Again, we hope this increased flexibility in the offer will allow more staff to have access to psychological supervision to support them in the complex emotional work that we know many are doing. We will be in touch later this term to let you know how many spaces we have for new practitioners to sign up once we have established who continues to attend from groups previously established.
So that we can make contact with our active Nurture schools regarding supervision, please fill out the Nurture Group Status Form.
Virtual Consultation Sessions
The Educational Psychologists were given their link schools last week and will be making contact with you to continue the VCS offer this year. For those of you who are unsure or new to the role – each school should have a named link EP and be offered a half-termly consultation. If you have not heard from the team in the next couple of weeks, please get in touch with your area Senior EP (Keith Willsher – High Wycombe, Scott Ighavongbe-Patrick – Chiltern and South Bucks, Jenny Feeney – Aylesbury Vale).
We continue to have a small pot of time for requests for advice. Please read the EP request form before considering making any requests. As this time is very limited, we have set out prioritisation criteria to determine how to best allocate this time to the most vulnerable children and young people. The criteria are set out in the request form, including details on how to make a request. Please note that identifying information can only be shared with parental consent and any other requests may only be made as requests for anonymous consultation.
Assistant EP offer
We are joined this year by three new Assistant EPs – Rajpreet Kataria, Priscilla Hylton and Jen Surguy. They are currently undergoing induction and training but we hope to soon launch their offer to schools including training, support to run groups and some individual work.
Hopefully, you will have seen separate comms about the new EBSNA pathway. At this point in time we are disbanding the EBSNA drop-ins and ask that cases are brought through the SEND forum, having done some initial work using the toolkit. You can of course still discuss EBSNA cases in VCS sessions with link EPs or make contact with the EBSNA inbox for quick queries.