Information for parents

Welcome to the Barking and Dagenham Educational Psychology Service (EPS). This page provides information about what educational psychologists do and how we can help your child and your family.

At Barking and Dagenham EPS we work to ensure that all children and young people in our Borough have a good start in life and achieve their best in school. 

We aim to promote inclusion and to support positive outcomes for all children and young people by working together with families and schools or educational settings.

What are Educational Psychologists (EPs)?

Educational Psychologists (often known as EPs) have been trained to understand children’s learning, behaviour, emotions and relationships. The work that EPs do is based on the research evidence of what works for children, parents, families and schools.

Educational Psychologists (EPs) are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as ‘practitioner psychologists’ and have enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certification to work with children and young people.

How do Educational Psychologists work?

The main goal of an EP’s work is to help ensure that children/young people make progress. 

The views and opinions of children/young people form an important part of any assessment work.

Typically, when someone has a concern about a child/young person’s progress, a SENCO (SEN Coordinator) will organise a ‘Consultation Meeting’ with parents, school staff and the school’s EP to help develop a clear understanding of a child’s strengths and needs.

What is a Consultation Meeting?

The Consultation Meeting involves a conversation that tries to develop a clear picture of the factors that affect a child’s progress, and the actions or strategies that are going to be helpful. 

During this meeting the EP will:

  • Ask questions about your child’s development and progress
  • Listen to your parental views
  • Talk about the things that might make a difference

Before (or after) the meeting, the EP may observe your child in class or work with them directly to assess their strengths and areas of need. This may involve assessment of their educational, social, emotional and behavioural progress, as well as their thinking skills.

The EP may also consult with a range of professionals, depending on the situation (e.g. Speech and Language Therapists, CAMHS workers, Paediatric doctors).

The EP will produce a short, written summary of their work (‘Consultation Record’) which is shared with the school and the parent/s. 

Sometimes the EP will write a report that contributes to an Education Health and Care (EHC) Assessment.

Other Work

The EP Service also offers various types of support for schools, such as advice and guidance on evidence-based interventions that can support children’s educational, social, and emotional development. 

Areas of training for school staff have included: ADHD, Attachment, Autism, Behaviour, Bereavement, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Communication, Direct Instruction, Dyslexia, Emotional Wellbeing, Mediated Learning, Memory, Mental Health, Motivation, Parent Support, Precision Teaching, Risk and Resilience, Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (SCERTS), Self Esteem, Solution Focused Interventions, Therapeutic Story Writing amongst others.

The EP may share information and advice (on a ‘need to know’ basis) to a range of relevant agencies involved in promoting positive outcomes, including the local authority’s EHC Panel.

How can I ask an educational psychologist about my child?

The EP Service operates in a ‘traded services’ context. This means that schools commission or pay for the EP Service.

Each school or setting (that commissions the service) has an allocated Educational Psychologist who works closely with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) or the Inclusion Manager at the school or setting. The SENCo or Inclusion Manager has the responsibility for coordinating services and meeting the range of special educational needs in the school. The EP and the SENCo or Inclusion Manager meet regularly to consider the needs of children in the school.

If you have concerns about the progress of a child or young person please arrange to meet the SENCo or Inclusion Manager at the school to discuss your concerns.

Educational Psychologists will only work directly with children where parents/carers have given consent for this to happen.