The "LEA" Educational
worked as a "Local Education
Authority" educational psychologist for an outer London Borough for 25
years. I am now in Independent practice.
receive a request for any private work, my initial response is to
direct the "client" to use their "LEA" educational psychologist if
The main advantage in using your LEA educational psychologist, is that
he/she will be able to view the problem in context of the classroom,
the teacher, the school ethos and the rest of the children. This
holistic approach is much more likely to gather relevant information
an informed solution. When possible, the LEA educational psychologist
should always be the first port of call..
The second advantage is that when the service is available, it is free
at the point of contact (you have already paid through your taxes).
As long as an educational psychologist is a "Chartered
Educational Psychologist" (or eligible for chartering), then the
advice given should be of equal quality and direction.
Below is the advice that I gave to schools about use of educational
psychologist time before I worked with them.
Psychologist - Consultation Model
The Code of Practice and
DfES direct the Educational Psychology Service towards a model of
consultation rather than formal assessment when working with individual
· Pro-formas are available to facilitate
· The essence of the information required
· the nature of the problem,
· the school's strategies and provision
already used, .
· the measured outcome of the school's
· a clear expectation of the outcome of
consultation with the Ed Psych.
When the Ed. Psych. has read all the information, there will then be
consultation with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) to
consider the next step.
There is often a hierarchy of response which may include some or all of
the following steps.
· discussion with other school staff,
· advice about alternative approaches within
Individual Education Programmes (IEPs),
· suggestions about referral to alternative
· non contact observation of child in class,
· meeting the child in or out of class,
· possible individual assessment,
· possible parental interview.
Until the Ed. Psych. has read the paperwork and discussed the next
the SENCo, the next step will not be known so it may well be premature
for anyone prior to that point, to inform the parents that their child
will be "seen" by the Ed. Psych.
It may be more appropriate to say "referred for an
The aim behind this consultative model is to increase the amount of
preventative work and to allow more children to benefit from
However, the amount of educational psychologist time that is
given by LEA's to local schools is very limited and extreme cases tend
to occlude the less needy. This can result in very long waiting
lists for children with significant but less disturbing problems.
Parents sometimes tell me that there are occasions when they would
an opinion from an independent
educational psychologist even when an LEA educational psychologist is
If your child is in independent education then you may not have access
to an LEA educational psychologist.
These situations are where an independent, private chartered
educational psychologist can help.
If you think that your child would benefit from a prompt
in-depth assessment that is not readily available from your LEA
educational psychologist then please contact me.
personal opinions which
reflect my experience of 39 years in education
including the last 25 years of practising as an educational
Chartered Educational Psychologist
Cert. Ed., BSc.(Hons), MSc.,
C. Psychol., AFBPsS.
British Psychological Society No: 34097
© 2004 All rights
return to home page
Chartered Educational Psychologist
"advice, assessment and an