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Educational Psychology Service

Contact Us - Educational Psychology Service

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The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is based at Sir Charles Frossard House.

The Service applies psychology to the education of all children and young people in the following ways:

Further information is available in the sections below which describes what we do when working with individual children and young people.

  • How the Educational Psychology Service arranges the work it carries out

    • Projects and joint agency developments are discussed and agreed with other States of Guernsey professionals, based on knowledge of children and young people, schools and objectives for the Bailiwick.
    • Each school in the Bailiwick has a named Link Educational Psychologist (EP). The Link EP regularly meets with school staff (usually the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and Headteacher) to discuss where the EP will focus their work with that school:
      • General advice
      • Involvement in development projects and training
      • Casework with individual pupils
    • EP individual casework with children not in school (pre-schoolers, Educated Otherwise, off-Island) is carried out by the Link EP for the catchment area in which the child lives.
    • A list of the current Link EPs for each school is available from the EPS office.
    • The part of EPS work where most people meet Educational Psychologists is through individual casework. Further information is available which describes what we do when working with individual children and young people.
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  • How EPs become involved in individual casework

    • EPs casework with individual children and young people happens where:
      • There is parental permission to do so
      • The child or young person has an additional need that is significantly affecting their learning
      • For school pupils, where the School has already put strategies in place to support the pupil and one of the SEN support services has been involved with the pupil
    • For pre-school children - parents, pre-school managers and HSC professionals can request EP involvement.
    • For school-age children and young people - EP work with individual pupils is requested by the school SENCO, in keeping with SEN Guidelines.
    • If a parent or other professional directly asks for EP involvement, the EP discusses this request with the SENCO to decide with them whether or not EP casework is appropriate and gives general advice where it is not.
    • For children and young people not in school - parents may request EP involvement, which is followed up as appropriate.
  • The Educational Psychology Service Team

    • Gillian Gamble - Principal Educational Psychologist
      • Specialism in Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    • Dr Alison Ring - Senior Practitioner Educational Psychologist
      • Specialisms in Early Years and Literacy Development
    • Rachel Sykes - Senior Practitioner Educational Psychologist
      • Specialism in Growth Mindset and Wellbeing
    • Dr Charlotte Friel - Educational Psychologist
      • Specialism in Social, Emotional, Mental Health needs and Behaviour
    • All Guernsey EPs are Chartered Educational Psychologists.
  • When an Educational Psychologist (EP) works with your Pre-school child:

    • Parents can feel anxious when the Educational Psychology Service becomes involved with their child. The following information explains what Educational Psychologists do when working with pre-school children. 
    • If an Educational Psychologist (EP) becomes involved with your child it will be to use what they know about psychology to:
      • help develop an even clearer understanding of your child
      • recommend and help work out how your child can make better progress
      • make recommendations related to your child starting school.
    • Your child will have their own pattern of strengths and difficulties, perhaps related to learning and understanding; physical or sensory needs; behaviour and/or managing their feelings; and communication. You know your child well and the EP will be keen to meet you to build their picture of your child.
    • What questions might an EP ask parents?
    • Generally an EP finds it helpful to know about:
      • what your child is like at home
      • what strengths and interests your child has
      • how your child developed as a baby and toddler
      • what worries you may have about your child
      • what you find works well to help your child
      • what you would most like to see happen for your child
    • EPs are also happy to answer questions that parents have.
    • How and where do EPs work?
    • We carry out observations and assessments to contribute, along with other professionals, to the management and support of children who may experience difficulties. When we become involved in assessing a child we may do some or all of the following:-
      • Share information with other professionals
      • Listen and talk to the child individually
      • Observe/assess the child in surroundings familiar to them such as the playgroup or at home
      • Listen and talk to the child's parents/guardian
    • Information gathered helps us to understand the child's needs. We can then advise those working with the child on setting appropriate targets and may be involved in helping to plan for the child starting school.
    • Educational Psychologists are always involved in the detailed assessment of the educational needs of children and young people with longer term difficulties.
    • Request for involvement or referral
    • At the pre-school stage, the Service operates an open referral system, so anyone who has a concern may seek advice about the child's difficulties and/or development by directly contacting either the named Educational Psychologist for the catchment area (if known) or by contacting the Senior Practitioner for Early Years. This may or may not lead to a request for involvement.
    • Parents are always asked to give their permission for an EP to be involved with their child. This permission is usually by a signature on the 'request for EP involvement' form. You will always receive copies of any report, summary or letter the EP writes about your child.
    • Notification
    • There is a requirement by Law that the States of Guernsey is notified by the age of 2 years of any child who may have a Special Educational Need and that parents are informed of such notification. This duty is placed on Health and Social Care and is normally made through a Paediatrician. However, simply because the States of Guernsey has been notified does not always mean that there will be involvement by the Educational Psychology Service.
    • If an EP works with my child does that mean that my child will go to a Special School?
    • Most children who work with an EP do not need to move to a Special School. However, a small number of them do. Part of an EP's job is to think about which type of school would best suit the child's learning needs. Some children may benefit from a period of assessment at a Nursery attached to a special school. Parents are always involved in decisions about which pupils do move school. If you are anxious about this, ask the EP about it when you meet them.
  • When an Educational Psychologist (EP) works with your School-age child:

    • Before a school's Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) asks for EP involvement, there will already have been a lot of work done in the school, in line with the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. The EP involvement will build on what has already been done.
    • Parents are always asked to give their permission for an EP to be involved with their child. The permission is usually by a signature on the 'request for EP involvement' form.
    • What will an EP do when they are involved?
    • Exactly what an EP will do depends on the individual situation for each pupil. The 'menu' of things that an EP might generally do is :
      • Discuss your child with you, the parents. This might be in a meeting just with you, and/or meeting with you and school staff, and/or during a Review Meeting.
      • Discuss your child with the class teacher or form tutor and other staff who know them well.
      • With your permission, discuss your child with other professionals who know them.
      • Have conversations with your child about their views of themselves and school.
      • Observe your child in school.
      • Ask your child to take some assessment tests.
      • Attend School Review Meetings for your child.
      • Find out how your child is making progress over time.
      • Write summaries and reports (that are copied to parents and school staff) that help everyone remember what has been found out, what is recommended to help your child, and who has agreed to do what action.
    • How long does all this take?
    • Each individual situation is different. Generally an EP will carry out their work with your child over a period of two or three terms.
    • How will I know what the EP is doing when and what they think about my child?
    • Different parents like to have different amounts of information at different times about the work an EP is doing. Some parents like to communicate directly with the EP, some prefer to be kept up-to-date by the SENCO. EPs are flexible about they way they communicate with parents, to suit each parent and situation.
    • Once EP involvement has begun, the EP plans in advance with the SENCO when they will visit to do their school-based work with your child.
    • EP meetings with parents are arranged either via the SENCO or directly with parents, as best suits each situation.
    • You will always receive copies of any report, summary or letter the EP writes about your child.
    • What questions might an EP ask parents?
    • Generally an EP finds it helpful to know about:
      • what your child is like at home,
      • what strengths and interests your child has,
      • how your child developed as a baby and toddler,
      • what worries you may have about your child,
      • what you find works well to help your child,
      • what you would most like to see happen for your child.
      • EPs are also happy to answer questions that parents have.
    • If an EP works with my child does that mean that my child will move to a Special School?
    • Most children who work with an EP do not need to move to a Special School. However, a small number of them do. Part of an EP's job is to think about which type of school would best suit the learning of the pupils they work with, but parents are always involved in decisions about which pupils do move school. If you are anxious about this, ask the EP about it when you meet them.
    • Will my child change because an EP has worked with them?
    • Some children do change in some way. Others have needs that can never change. All children can be helped to make their own progress in school.
    • When an EP is involved with your child what they hope to do is work with your child, their teachers and you to:
      • help build an even clearer understanding of your child
      • look at what can be done to help your child make their own learning progress and be happy at school.

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