How to access Educational Psychology

How to get support for a child or young person.

Making a referral

You cannot currently refer your child to the Educational Psychology Service.

The referral must be made via the child’s school, or by a health professional if they are of pre-school age and not attending a nursery unit or school.

If you have a concern about your child, speak to their teacher or a healthcare professional, such as a GP or social worker, who will be able to provide advice and guidance on the issue. 

If your child’s teacher and the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) have a significant concern about your child’s progress, they will discuss this with you. They will also review any school-based provision that has been put in place to support your child’s Special Educational Needs.

If the school staff think your child is not making adequate progress with this provision, they may request a consultation with an Educational Psychologist. If your child does not attend an educational setting, a paediatrician or health professional may contact our service. The school will always seek parental consent before any contact is made with the Education Authority.

Parents, schools and other professionals can also contact the Education Psychology Service for advice if they have concerns about a child who may have a learning difficulty that is not yet diagnosed.

For more details on to how to access support from the Service see our Making a Referral and Timeline and Criteria information. 

What Happens Following a Referral to the Educational Psychology Service?

Once your child is brought to the attention of the Educational Psychology Service, either by the school or a health professional, there are 3 types of involvement which may take place – Consultation, Assessment or Intervention.

Consultation

A consultation takes place between the Educational Psychologist and your child’s school. Information and advice are shared, and strategies are discussed to assist your child. These strategies will be implemented and reviewed by the school.

Assessment

An EP may complete an initial assessment based on information gathered from the school, you (as parent or carers) and also your child, if appropriate. They may also observe your child in the classroom. You will be contacted about this in advance.

Intervention

The EP will develop a plan for the most appropriate form of support to help meet your child’s current needs. This may or may not include additional EP intervention. The EP will do this in collaboration with you (the child’s parents or carers), your child (if appropriate), and the school.  

Level of support your child will receive

For many children with SEN, their specific needs can be met within their educational setting.

The involvement provided by EPS is based on the specific needs of each child, helping to clarify their learning needs if they are failing to make progress, and if all school-based strategies and resources have been exhausted. 

We provide:

  • advice and guidance for parents or carers
  • information, advice, training and guidance for schools
  • EP intervention with your child (if applicable)

Involvement can be provided with or without a Statement of Special Educational Needs being in place.  

Where your child has complex needs and there are concerns that their current provision is not meeting their Special Educational Needs, a Statutory Assessment may be required. An EP can provide more assistance and advice with this.

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Contact the Educational Psychology Service

The Educational Psychology Service can be contacted for advice and information specific to children and young people who have, or may have, special educational needs.