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Child & Educational Psychology Service

Educational psychologists (EP) apply knowledge of psychology, child development and education to promote children’s learning, social development, mental health and emotional well-being.

Educational Psychologists are postgraduate, applied psychologists. Many have been teachers and all have experience of working with children and young people in educational settings in addition to a Masters degree in Educational Psychology and/ or a doctorate in Educational Psychology.

EPs are registered with and bound by ethical professional practice guidance and codes of conduct determined by the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC).

The Luton Child and Educational Psychology Service provides a ‘core’ service to schools as part of our statutory role; an EP is always required to provide psychological advice when a child is going through the statutory assessment process (for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment).

The Service is also a ‘traded service’ and schools can use their delegated Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding to purchase EP hours to access the Service.

Who do we support?

We work through consultation and collaboration with significant adults in the child or young person’s life (for example, parents and carers, school staff and other professionals involved) and directly with children and young people aged 0 to 25 to seek solutions to concerns and difficulties.

What can you expect from us?

The role of the EP is wide-ranging. Work with children or young people may involve one, some or all of the following:

  • working directly with individuals or groups of children to promote learning, social skills or emotional regulation. This may involve observation of a child or young person in lessons or on the playground and individual assessments with the child or young person. Individual assessments will vary according to the nature of the request for EP involvement and the child’s presenting difficulties
  • working through consultation with other significant adults to make plans to achieve positive change for individual children or young people whose learning, development or social or emotional well-being is causing concern
  • working directly with parents or carers, e.g. consultation, Video Interaction Guidance (VIG), Nurtured Heart intervention
  • advising schools, settings and parents and carers on interventions and strategies including ways to evaluate their effectiveness
  • direct delivery of therapeutic intervention, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness (individual or group), Play therapy (individual or group).
  • gaining the views of children and young people

Work with schools and other educational settings or community work may involve:

  • contributing to professional development (training) of teachers and other educational support staff including training on evidence-based and research-informed interventions
  • responding to ‘critical incidents’ involving schools (e.g. a sudden, unexpected event or sequence of events that are distressing to pupils and/or staff. It may involve violence against members of the school, serious accident or sudden death of a child or adult member of staff)
  • working with schools to help develop policies or evaluate practice to promote learning or positive behaviour
  • liaising, coordinating information and working with other agencies involved with children and their families/ carers
  • specific specialist input around the needs of looked-after children, e.g. training for social workers, foster carers, Consultation for schools, social workers and foster carers
  • training for community partners, such as Edwin Lobo Centre staff
  • contributing to Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Needs under Children & Families Act, 2014

How to get involvement from the service/ who can request involvement?

School or Nursery Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) can request EP involvement for the most complex children in their school or setting. Parents/ carers must give their informed consent for us to become involved with a child (there is a request for involvement form that the school/ setting must fill in and then ask parents/ carers to sign to give their consent).

Parents / carers will usually be asked to attend a meeting with the EP on the day they are visiting the school (or on another date if the one arranged is not convenient for parents/ carers).  

Parents and carers who feel their child needs EP involvement should speak with the school’s SENCO. 

The Virtual School has access to and can request involvement from within their dedicated time from their link EP. Our specialist social care/ looked-after children EP offers a consultation service for parents, carers and professionals where there is social care involvement or where a child is looked after or was previously looked after. A direct request for consultation with the specialist LAC/ Social care EP can be made. 

What happens after service has been involved?

After they have finished their work with a child or young person (the EP may work with/ consult with others about a child just once or several times), the EP will write up a summary of their involvement. A copy of this written feedback will be sent to school/ setting, parents/ carers and any other professionals who are involved with the child. 

The written feedback will include details of the purpose of their involvement, child or young person’s views, parent/ carer views, a summary of the child’s strengths and areas of difficulties, formulation or summary/ conclusion and some suggested or agreed actions including objectives, outcomes and strategies and interventions. The summary will also indicate suggested or agreed review arrangements.    

If the EP’s work has been part of the statutory assessment process they will write up more formal and detailed advice (Statutory Advice for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment). A copy of this will be sent to parents/ carers, the school setting and the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team.

What can you do if a school does not feel your child needs EP involvement?

Your child’s school’s SENCO may have put in place appropriate levels of intervention and support and most children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) are able to have their needs met from within a schools resources and without the need for assessment by an EP. If your child’s school do not think EP involvement is required you could:

  • ask the school’s SENCO if there are any other Special Educational Needs Support (SENS) Services that your child could access
  • Search the Local Offer for other SEN Support Services, click on the pink ‘specific areas of need’ tiles or the ‘if you have concerns’ pathway

Get in touch with the Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIAS). This team will be able talk with you about your concerns and can help you find information and support. 

Who to contact


Last updated 22/08/2023