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Educational Psychology

Educational Psychologists are specialists in learning, emotional well-being and child development. We work directly or indirectly with children and young people. We also provide advice to their parents and other adults who teach and support them. In Cornwall, Educational Psychologists (EPs) work as part of the Children's Psychology Service. 

Vision: Children and young people at the heart of everything we do.

Mission: Using psychology to enable positive change.

Core Values: 

  • Inclusive
  • Collaborative
  • Child-centred
  • Strengths based
  • Empowering

We work with children and young people, their families and educational settings. Our role is to promote positive outcomes for vulnerable groups of children and young people including:

  • Children and young people with general or specific learning difficulties.
  • Children and young people with physical disabilities and significant medical needs.
  • Children and young people in care and those who have Social Care involvement.
  • Young people with emotional and mental health needs. They may also present with behavioural difficulties. 

The Educational Psychology Service provides specific pieces of statutory and core work. We are funded to provide this free to educational settings within Cornwall.

Statutory Work

The service is the sole provider commissioned by the Council to carry out statutory psychological work. This is to assess children and young people with Special Educational Needs.  

On behalf of the Council we carry out the following statutory duties: 

  • Providing assessment and written Psychological Advice. We do this as part of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment or reassessment of a child or young person (aged 0-25).
  • Providing psychological knowledge and opinion at Special Educational Needs and Disability tribunals. We do this for children or young people on behalf of the local authority.
  • Contribution to the Statutory Special Educational Needs Panel.
  • High priority casework requested by the Manager of the Statutory SEND Team. This is agreed by the Principal Educational Psychologist.

Core Work

Core work carried out by the Educational Psychology Service is:

  • Discretionary
  • Subject to change
  • Determined by Together for Families priorities

From September 2021 the core work carried out by the Educational Psychology Service changed in line with the Belonging Framework, to focus on:

  • Strengthening relationships
  • Supporting the inclusion of children and young people

within their local educational settings and community. 

Access to Core work will demonstrate:

  • The child or young person is on the roll of a state educational setting within Cornwall.
  • The child or young person has significant social, emotional and/or Special Educational Needs.
  • Documented evidence that the child or young person’s difficulties are persistent, despite the educational setting having taken relevant and purposeful action over time, as set out in the SEND Code of Practice.
  • Core work is time-limited, outcomes focused and will usually involve one cycle of assess, plan, do and review.

Core work previously undertaken by the Educational Psychology Service focused on working to support:

  • Children and young people in care to Cornwall Council
  • Children and young people subject to a Cornwall Council Protection Plan

Some of these children and young people will continue to have their needs met through the revised specification for core work. However, for the majority, schools are able to use our traded services to access Educational Psychology support. This could include:

  • A range of assessments
  • Delivery of interventions
  • Attendance at prioritised meetings
  • Providing advice and guidance to the professional network around the child or young person

Work with a focus on individual children and young people

Educational Psychologists try to gain an understanding of the whole child. We also consider the environment they live and learn in.  This is so we can best support others in working together to reach positive outcomes.

Others we work with include:

  • Young people
  • Parents or carers
  • Teachers and
  • Other professionals

Individual work may include:

  • Observation
  • Consultation with parents, teachers and other professionals
  • Completing questionnaires
  • Pupil interviews 
  • Dynamic assessment 
  • Play based assessment
  • Cognitive assessment
  • Standardised assessments of academic performance
  • Contributing to statutory Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments 
  • Setting and reviewing outcomes/targets
  • Attendance at multi-agency meetings and reviews
  • Draw and Talk intervention
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy
  • Personal Construct Psychology
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing 

Family Interventions

  • Video Interaction Guidance
  • Coaching
  • Video Feedforward

Group Interventions

We can develop and deliver bespoke interventions on a needs led basis. Please see the traded service section for further information.

Interventions include: 

  • Emotion Coaching
  • Loss and change
  • Friends (KS 2-4) and Fun Friends (KS 1-2)
  • Therapeutic Story Writing
  • Circle of Friends
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy based interventions
  • Understanding anger
  • Whole class intervention

Whole School Interventions

Please see the traded services section and brochure for further information.

Interventions include: 

  • School development projects
  • Soft Systems Methodology
  • Research
  • Provision Management

Staff Support: Training and Interventions

  • Staff support and supervision
  • Staff well-being and stress management
  • Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VERP)
  • Staff drop in sessions
  • Teacher (staff) coaching
  • Collaborative problem solving e.g. Circles of adults or Solution Circles
  • Motivational interviewing

Staff Training

  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) Training
  • Attachment and resilience
  • Dyspraxia/Coordination difficulties
  • Differentiation
  • Memory and Learning
  • Mediated learning to develop thinking skills
  • Use of ipads and apps
  • Memory and learning
  • Concentration and attention
  • Precision teaching
  • SMART targets
  • Draw and Talk training for staff
  • Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)

Please see our brochure above for further information and examples of training. 

See the latest Educational Psychology Service Brochure on our Services for Schools platform for more information. (This direct link will only work when you are signed in to Services for Schools)

If you do not already have an account on our Services for Schools platform create an account or if you do, log-in here

We are a partially traded service. Educational settings can buy Educational Psychology support in blocks of time. This is to meet their specific needs and priorities. One day equals 6.5 hours. Purchased time should include time for preparation, write up and follow up.

How Educational Settings buy traded Educational Psychology Services

All purchases are made via the Services for Schools platform

Advantages of a Service Level Agreement

  • A guaranteed level of support throughout the academic year.
  • Educational settings that purchase an SLA will have a named link Educational Psychologist to carry out all of their traded work. The same Educational Psychologist will also aim to carry out any and all core or statutory work.
  • Schools with an SLA will be offered a free virtual planning consultation meeting. Within this meeting a range of work can be discussed and educational psychology involvement can be agreed and prioritised.

Every link Educational Psychologist keeps an up to date log of all work they carry out in a school, or across a MAT, during the academic year. This information is shared with the SENCO and headteacher on a termly basis and at the end of the year.

Online Training (£30)

‘Using iPads to support learners with literacy difficulties- evidence based practice’

This online course covers:

  • School and local authority statutory duties.
  • Using technology to support learners with special educational needs.
  • Current research findings.
  • Good practice when using technology to help children and young people learn.
  • A step by step video guide. This shows how to change settings to support learners with literacy difficulties.

Access the online training

For all individual casework, educational settings need to complete the Request for Involvement form, which can be accessed via the Services for Schools integrated platform. 

This only accessible by school staff, you will need an account on the platform to access it, and your School or Multi-Academy Trust needs to have purchased the Service Level Agreement to view the page. 

Access the Request for Involvement Form

The Educational Psychology Service is not able to accept any requests for involvement or carry out any work without:

  • The prior consent of the parent (or those with parental responsibility)
  • The child if they are aged 13 or over.

The information sharing consent must be given before submission.

As the referrer it is your responsibility to ensure that you have consent to share information with the EPS and for an EP to work with a child or young person directly or indirectly. Please ensure that you have talked to the person/s with parental responsibility, family and young person before making this referral and have shared the following: 

Your Guide to Meeting an Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychology Consent Form

Cornwall Council's Education Service Privacy Notice

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