Psychological Services

Applying psychology with educational communities to enhance wellbeing and improve outcomes for all.

Northumberland's Educational Psychologists work with educational settings, children and families. We support children and young people who are experiencing difficulties or delays in their development. For example, their communication, interaction, cognition, learning, social and emotional needs, and mental health.

Coronavirus: Educational Psychology advice for schools and parents
 
Due to the current situation, and following national guidance, it is best to contact our team via the email address provided: psychservices@northumberland.gov.uk
Messages will be checked regularly and we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can.


We have all been very unsettled by the current situation with the Coronavirus. Worry and concern has been very present in the news. All adults and children will have some degree of awareness of events so far, and may have had their lives disrupted. Please see the dropdown box further down this page giving useful guidance and support.


Applying psychology with educational communities to enhance wellbeing and improve outcomes for all.

Who are we?

Our team is a group of highly experienced Educational Psychologists who work with school staff, children, and families.

The goal of Psychological Services is to support schools and settings to achieve better outcomes for children and young people and improve wellbeing.

We use our knowledge of educational and psychological research and theory to:

  • encourage better learning
  • promote the social/emotional wellbeing of Northumberland’s children and young people

Please click here to meet our team.

What do we do?

We work with young people and the adults in their lives to:

  • identify additional/special educational needs, and suitable interventions to address these
  • prevent additional/special educational needs and requirements developing 
  • support those with ongoing additional needs and requirements
  • safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults

Our work can be:

  • with individuals or groups
  • directly with children and families, or with teachers and other adults working with them
  • at 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. These include:

  • social, emotional, and mental health needs
  • cognition and learning
  • communication and interaction
  • sensory and/or physical needs

Things you should know about the team

All of the Educational Psychologists employed in Psychological Services:

  • are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and maintain high standards of professional practice
  • access regular child protection training delivered within the Local Authority and have very clear safeguarding procedures, which link to the pathways in Northumberland
  • follow Northumberland County Council’s policy and procedures in relation to data and information storage, and adhere to the information sharing and safeguarding standards that are in place
  • have regular supervision with experienced senior psychologists and the benefit of ongoing support
  • 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
  • work closely with Newcastle University to support the training of new Educational Psychologists and benefit from access to their resources

The Impact of Coronavirus on Children and Young People - Resources for Schools and Families

We have all been very unsettled by the current situation with the Coronavirus. Worry and concern has been very present in the news. All adults and children will have some degree of awareness of events so far, and may have had their lives disrupted. It’s normal that we would feel anxious and upset by what is happening.  We all want to support the children and young people we are caring for and working with to understand their feelings and adjust to the current circumstances.

To assist adults in talking to children and young people about the Coronavirus and managing the current situation we would like to share the following resources from this padlet link:-
 https://nlandeducation.padlet.org/gill_finch2/SupportForChildrenandFamilies  

They are accompanied by links to a range of resources from other sources . These are designed to help develop understanding and support wellbeing for adults and the children and young people in their lives:

For all adults working with / caring for children and young people:

  • Educational advice for schools and parents
  • Talking to children about the current situation
  • Talking to children about Coronavirus (British Psychological Society)
  • Resources for managing feelings, fears and worries (International School Counselling Association)

(Mainly) for School Staff and Settings:

  • Cornavirus and UK school closures: Support and advice for schools and parents/carers (British Psychological Society)
  • Advice and activities for those working with secondary aged pupils

(Mainly) for Parents and Carers:

  • Things to think about if your child cannot attend schoo
  • List of educational websites

More resources are available via the Northumberland Education Coronavirus specific page.

If any schools would like to discuss any issues the Coronavirus has raised for the children and young people in their setting please contact your named link EP directly by email or the EP team (psychservices@Northumberland.gov.uk)

If you feel that your child would benefit from our services, the information on this page outlines how to access Psychological Services.

STEP 1: Discuss your concerns with the school

  • 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 Coordinator). 
  • The school will explain how they are addressing the needs of your child, and if a referral to another service is necessary. 

STEP 2: Deciding if Psychological Services are best for your child

  • If the school feels that a request for support from Psychological Services would help your child, the SENCo - with parental consent - will contact the school’s link Educational Psychologist to plan the work. 
  • Please note: The school must have a Service Level Agreement with Psychological Services for individual work with a child or young person to take place. Your child's school will inform you if they don't have this; they will be able to explain which other services they do work with to support children in their setting. For example, they may employ a private psychologist.

STEP 3: The school will request our support

  • The SENCo will complete the SEND Support Services ‘Request for Support’ form. All requests for support require signed parental consent.

If an Education, Health and Care Assessment has been agreed for your child, an Educational Psychologist will automatically be asked to provide advice.

Contact us 

If you have any questions or queries about the work of Educational Psychologists, please call us on 01670 624813

Further information

Please see the below document for more information:

Privacy notice

Information is stored according to Northumberland County Council’s policies and adheres to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

If you are a school or educational setting in Northumberland, you may feel that you would benefit from our help in Psychological Services. This page explains how we can help the children in your setting and the different offers available to you.

Why work with us?

You should work with our Psychological Services team because we:

  • have a good understanding of the needs of schools in the different areas of Northumberland 
  • appreciate the different challenges of working in rural and urban areas
  • are all registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and maintain high standards of professional practice
  • access regular child protection training delivered within the Local Authority and have very clear safeguarding procedures, which link to the pathways in Northumberland
  • follow Northumberland County Council’s policy and procedures in relation to data and information storage, and adhere to the information sharing and safeguarding standards that are in place
  • have regular supervision with experienced senior psychologists and the benefit of ongoing support
  • 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
  • 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 that 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 that we have sound knowledge regarding the processes relating to SEND in the local authority.

What makes us unique?

  • 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 a 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. 
  • We are part of SEND Support, which means we have ready access to other support services and work closely with our SEND Support colleagues. 

Contact us

  • SEND Manager for Psychological Services: Paula Hesford
  • Senior Educational Psychologist: Katinka Bryan
  • Office Manager: Dorothy MacDonald

Please use the following details to get in touch:

Privacy notice

Information is stored according to Northumberland County Council’s policies and adheres to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Statutory offer

All children in Northumberland settings are able to access statutory services from Psychological Services free of charge. This work relates solely to:

  • the advice requested by the Local Authority, when there is a request for an Education and Health Care Assessment
  • other work requested by the Local Authority to fulfil its statutory duties 

However, 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. 

PLEASE NOTE: The availability of EP input during the year will be dependent upon capacity. Schools that do not enter into a Service Level Agreement with Psychological Services cannot be guaranteed access to the service beyond the statutory elements described above. 

Core offer

Psychological Services provide a core offer to benefit all children and young people in Northumberland. Our time will be allocated to Northumberland’s schools. These schools are grouped geographically and are known as partnerships. Time will be allocated based on IDACI data (income deprivation affecting children index) in order to address the differing level of needs across the partnerships.

Schools in Northumberland are arranged in the following geographical partnerships:

  • Alnwick
  • Ashington
  • Bedlington
  • Berwick
  • Blyth
  • Haydon Bridge
  • Hexham
  • Morpeth
  • Ponteland
  • Prudhoe
  • Seaton Valley

Our core offer includes:

  • A named Educational Psychologist(s) working within each partnership
  • Allocated time for partnership work, the use of which will be negotiated with the partnership and could include training, research and consultation
  • Attendance at the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) network meetings 
  • Liaison with other SEND professionals for consultation, in the Inclusive Education Support Services. 
  • Direct contact with named Educational Psychologist(s), by phone and email, for general enquiries.
  • Wider strategic work Educational Psychologists undertake at a county level, to support the wellbeing and learning of all children and young people.

Educational Psychologists will continue to provide psychological advice for all Education, Health and Care Assessments and will undertake other statutory work - including work for tribunals and other complex casework requested by the SEND team.

Schools and settings can purchase a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to access the following types of support from Psychological Services:

  • consultation meetings with school staff
  • individual assessment work with pupils, prioritised by the school
  • attendance and contribution to meeting with parents and other professionals, as negotiated with the school
  • timely written feedback to the school and family following the work undertaken, documenting actions taken by the Educational Psychologist and action agreed by others
  • bespoke whole school development work, such as individual school training
  • support to address issues prioritised on the school development plan
  • support with referrals to other providers and signposting

Daily rate for Psychological Services

  • The daily rate for Psychological Services is £395 per day*, for requests for SLAs received up to 31 May. 
  • Any requests for days received after 31 May will be charged at £450 and are subject to availability.

 
*PLEASE NOTE: 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.

Training events
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. 

The links below are for all schools and settings to request support from Psychological Services.

Request for individual support
Please click on the following link to access the ‘Request for Support’ form:

PLEASE NOTE: All requests for support require signed parental consent. School’s must have a Service Level Agreement with Psychological Services for individual work with a child or young person to take place.

Request for Whole School support 
Schools can also request whole school work/training, following a 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. 

Please click on the links below to access the forms and documents:

Request for additional days
Schools who wish to request additional time, or schools who are not part of an SLA, may do so by completing the following form: