Educational Psychology Consultation
What is an EP consultation?
- A consultation is a preventative and helping process
- It is facilitated by the psychologist who brings problem-solving frameworks and theoretical approaches
- It enables the expertise of school staff, parents, other agencies and the psychologist to be utilised within a structured timeframe
- All parties share problem solving and work together to create change.
Consultation and the Assess, Plan, Do and Review cycles
The process of Assess, Plan, Do and Review (APDR) typically involves an initial consultation meeting and two consultation review meetings. The number of consultation cycles can vary and will be agreed between all parties taking into account a child or young person’s response to intervention and movement towards agreed outcomes.
Consultation and Psychological Assessment
Consultation is integral to EP assessment. Information gathered and learned through consultations within the APDR cycles contributes to a psychological assessment needed to inform decisions and next steps. In consultation, the EP’s role is to collaboratively work with the adults (teachers, parents, etc.) to reach solutions but this does not preclude working directly with the child. We often use other assessment tools for direct work with the child that are agreed at the consultation and are fit for purpose.
Evidence of the APDR process, (typically two cycles) is required by Manchester City Council when a request for a statutory assessment of special educational needs is made.
Who will attend, where and what will happen?
To help the adults solve their problems, the EP needs to work mostly with the adults who are actually dealing with the matter. The inclusion of parents is best practice as described in the SEND code of practice.
Therefore consultation is most effective when thefollowing practical steps are supported by settings:
- Key people who can effect change and know the child well (e.g. SENCo and class teacher) in setting are released to participate and have adequate time.
- A quiet, calm confidential space.
- Adult/s at the consultation have already reflected on their concerns and issues in order to share these at the consultation in as much detail as possible.
- Parents/carers are involved.
The EP will explain the purpose of the consultation and facilitate it. This will include asking some questions to seek clarification, developing a shared understanding of the issues and agree the next steps to work towards shared outcomes and a psychological formulation.
The EP will usually agree a review date and the distribution of written records to those present.