Kirklees educational psychologists believe every child, with or without SEN (Special Educational Needs), has the ability to achieve, to enjoy positive emotional health and well-being, and the right to belong. We are confident that the thoughtful application of psychology can transform children's lives for the better. We believe that children thrive when they are included in their local community and we are committed to supporting parents and schools to help this happen.

Kirklees Educational Psychologists are trained to understand what helps children:

  • learn
  • think and problem-solve
  • communicate
  • develop relationships
  • understand and manage their feelings and behaviours

About the service

We are funded by Kirklees Local Authority to help schools support children and young people when:

  • children or young people are in care and are failing to make progress
  • schools are considering the use of permanent exclusion
  • an Education, Health and Care needs assessment has been agreed
  • a school community is experiencing a significant traumatic event
  • a child or young person with a Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan has a significant change in their SEN which might require a different type of approach or educational setting.

Additionally, in maintained schools, we also provide an Initial Consultation when a child at SEN Support whose attainment development is well below that of other children and who is not making progress in school. Our involvement would follow a high level of support and intervention by school staff and parents working together with any other appropriate professionals over time.

If it is agreed through this Initial Consultation that further assessment by an Educational Psychologist is needed then the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) or Headteacher can discuss how best to access this with the Educational Psychology Service.

When an educational psychologist becomes involved

An educational psychologist may become involved when parents and staff remain concerned about a child's development and/or progress in school even though the SENCo has:

  • worked with parents and teachers over an extended period of time to agree targets, strategies, and interventions
  • involved specialist outreach teams for example for autism, speech, language and communication, physical and sensory impairment, and other professionals where this is appropriate

The decision about whether a referral to our team would be helpful is made either at termly planning meetings between SENCo and school Educational Psychologist or through an Additional Needs Partnership.

How we work

Consultation

We always begin our involvement in individual cases with a problem-solving meeting which we call an ‘Initial Consultation' and with adults who know the child best. We use this consultation approach because we believe that working together with parents, carers and school staff is essential to understanding the unique needs of each child. The approach helps us to make sure that the package of support agreed can be carefully tailored to suit each child and his or her school situation.

Assessment

Following consultation, we can carry out a range of assessments that help identify the child's strengths and difficulties in an agreed area. The goal of assessment is always to identify strategies and interventions that school staff and parents can use to help the child make progress.

Additional needs partnerships

Some schools work very closely together to share practice around special educational needs (SEN) and form an Additional Needs Partnership (ANP). This means that SENCos meet each other on a regular basis alongside an educational psychologist to discuss useful approaches that will support children with a variety of SEN. Children's details are kept entirely confidential and are not shared with the group. Your school SENCo will always have discussed any additional needs with you and gained your consent to talk about your child at an ANP meeting, and will provide you with feedback from it.

Initial consultation

We call our first meeting with parents and carers an 'Initial Consultation.' These consultations are essential to give everyone the chance to:

  • share their perspective
  • gain a better understanding of any underlying issues
  • consider strategies and interventions
  • agree actions

The educational psychologist will facilitate the consultation and draw upon psychological research, theory and questioning techniques to help this process.

Often parents and teaching staff agree that the action plan developed through the initial consultation is all that is needed. At other times it is agreed that further assessment would be helpful. Depending on the type of assessment needed it could be agreed that this is to be carried out by the teacher, SENCo, Educational Psychologist and/or another professional from outside the school.

Contact Educational Psychology