Applying psychology with educational communities to enhance wellbeing and improve outcomes for all.
We are a highly experienced team of Educational Psychologists who work with school staff, children and families. The goal of Psychological Services is to support schools and settings to develop their capacity to enhance wellbeing and achieve better outcomes for children and young people. We use our knowledge of educational and psychological research and theory to promote the learning and the social and emotional wellbeing of the children and young people in Northumberland.
Meet the team
We work with young people and support the adults involved in their lives to:
Our work can be at the individual or group level, working directly with children and families, or at the class or whole school level to support schools in developing their policy and practice. We can offer support in identifying, assessing and understanding the needs of children with SEND in relation to the areas outlined in the Code of Practice: Social Emotional and Mental Health needs, Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, and Sensory and /or Physical needs.
We have a good understanding of the needs of the schools in the different areas of Northumberland and appreciate the different challenges of working in rural and urban areas. We are all registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and maintain high standards of professional practice.
We access regular child protection training delivered within the Local Authority and have very clear safeguarding procedures which link to the pathways in Northumberland. We follow Northumberland County Council’s policy and procedures in relation to data and information storage data and adhere to the information sharing and safeguarding standards that are in place.
Each Educational Psychologist has regular supervision with experienced senior psychologists and the benefit of ongoing peer support. We highly value the opportunity to share good practice and to learn from other psychologists in our team so that our offer to schools continues to grow from a secure evidence base. We work closely with Newcastle University to support the training of new Educational Psychologists and benefit from access to their resources. On-going professional training is undertaken by all our educational psychologists to ensure we maintain essential high levels of competence, understand new developments in practice, are aware of any new legislation and Department for Education (DfE) requirements as well as the standards of professional practice set out by the HCPC.
While maintaining an independent professional view, Educational Psychologists contribute to developing the special educational needs processes and provision across Northumberland. This means we have sound knowledge regarding the processes relating to SEND in the local authority.
As a service we are in the strong and unique position of being able to carry out the whole range of statutory and traded educational psychology work a setting may require. We have access to the rich diversity of skills and knowledge that a team of Educational Psychologists brings and we can draw upon this resource to deliver the best possible service to the schools and settings we work with. As part of SEND Support we have ready access to other support services and we work closely with these colleagues.
In the first instance, parents should discuss any concerns they have about their child’s provision and progress with the school. This will usually be with the school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator). The school will be able to explain how they are addressing the needs of the child or young person and discuss whether a referral to other services is necessary.
If the school feels that a request for support from Psychological Services would be helpful, and they have a Service Level Agreement with Psychological Services, the SENCo, with parental consent, will contact the school's link EP to plan the work.
SENCos then complete the SEND Support Services 'Request for Support' form. All requests for support require signed parental consent.
Request for Pupil Support and Parental Consent Form - pdf
Request for Pupil Support and Parental Consent Form - Word Version
Information is stored according to Northumberland County Council policies and to adhere to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Schools can also request whole schoolwork/training following discussion with their link EP. We have a training brochure which gives some examples of the kind of training sessions that can be delivered. We also offer some additional training opportunities countywide which we advertise on the ecourier.
Whole School Request for Support Form - pdf
Whole School Request for Support Form - Word Version
Psychological Services Training Brochure
SEND Manager for Psychological Services: Paula Hesford
Senior Educational Psychologist: Katinka Bryan
Office Manager: Dorothy MacDonald
Tel: 01670 624813
Our Service Level Agreement
All schools and settings in Northumberland are able to access statutory services from Psychological Services free of charge. This work relates solely to the advice requested by the Local Authority as part of the request for an Education and Health Care Assessment or other work requested by the Local Authority to fulfil its statutory duties.
It is strongly advised that all schools purchase Educational Psychology time to ensure that support is readily available for any issues that may arise over the academic year. The availability of EP input during the year will be dependent on capacity and schools that do not enter into a Service Level Agreement with Psychological Services cannot be guaranteed access to Psychological Services beyond the statutory elements of the service described above.
Purchasing time from Psychological Services
Schools choosing to purchase a Service Level Agreement will be able to access the following types of support from Psychological Services:
In 2018/19 the daily rate for Psychological Services is £395 a day* for requests for SLAs received up to 31 May 2018. Any requests for days received after 31 May 2018 will be charged at £450 and be subject to availability.
*A day consists of 5 hours EP time, this includes contact time in school plus any preparation and follow up work for example preparing training materials or writing reports.
In addition to the above, school staff will be able to access training events provided on a locality or county wide basis. These will be costed individually.
For more information about working with Psychological Services please contact:
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