Education psychology service

Education Psychologists are employed by the Council to provide independent professional advice on children's needs. Our principal clients are the children and young people we work with.

How does a child get referred?

  • therapists, paediatricians, health visitors etc.
  • education staff, voluntary workers in pre-school settings and social workers also refer
  • parents can refer, but usually their requests come through health staff

Which pre-school children do we see?

  • children under school age who may have special educational needs requiring extra help when they go to school
  • children under school age who would benefit from pre-school educational provision to address their difficulties

Why do we see them?

  • to advise on the most appropriate pre-school provision for them
  • to assist pre-school provision (parents and professionals) in meeting the child's needs
  • to make an assessment of their needs so that appropriate help can be arranged in school

When do we see them?

  • as soon as possible - specialised nurseries can take children as young as two and a half and there are waiting lists
  • the best time for pre-school children to be referred is between the ages of two and two and a half

What happens next?

  • we see the child in at least one setting with which they are familiar, such as their home, playgroup, nursery
  • we observe how they get on with others, how they play with toys, how they organise themselves, how they communicate etc.
  • we may do some individual work with them, such as structured games and puzzles
  • we discuss their progress with parents, staff and any other professionals working with them
  • we agree and implement a course of action, e.g. seek a nursery place, advise on behaviour management, advise on language development etc.
  • we report on the outcomes to the referrer and others
  • we advise on the implementation of individual education plans, monitor progress and follow up as necessary
  • in some cases we will advise on the need for a formal assessment of the child's strengths and weaknesses to ensure that the provision is appropriate when the child goes to school

In Havering, the Education Psychology Service is then asked to advise on whether a statutory assessment of the child's special educational needs may be required.

Other services offered for pre-school children

  • general advice to teachers, nursery nurses, non-teaching staff, governors and other professionals concerned with the developmental needs of young children
  • a named educational psychologist for each nursery, each Early Years Centre and each specialised pre-school provision
  • training opportunities for those working with young children
  • contributions to policy development regarding pre-school children
  • management of the Portage home teaching service
  • regular attendance at health service review meetings
  • organisation and running of special pre-school projects

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