Educational psychologists have always been a vital part of effective educational delivery, supporting schools and families through the use of research based approaches and strategies. Traditionally (in the UK at least) these services have been delivered by Local Authorities and have been provided to schools on an allocation basis.
This approach allowed an effective Local Authority based educational psychology practice to deliver a joined up service to an entire region, working in partnership with other Local Authority professionals such as therapists and clinical psychologists.
Unfortunately, due to a focus by the psychology profession itself on 'within-child' assessments (to the detriment of other approaches) and the more recent Local Government cuts to services, this capability no longer exists in large areas of the country. Many traditional, Local Authority based, educational psychology and child & adolescent mental health (CAMHS) teams have been cut to the point where they can only deliver the most basic of statutory assessment services and they no longer have the budget or the capacity to deliver more holistic and preventative work.
This puts forward-thinking schools (particularly those in areas of social deprivation, those needing to deal with complex family dynamics or those working with negative socioeconomic factors) at a significant disadvantage since they can no longer access the essential psychological based services that may have been available to them in the past. This situation has implications that go beyond school attainment targets and Ofsted reports; the lack of coordinated and targeted support for schools in some of the country's most deprived areas perpetuates a cycle of social decline that impacts across generations and affects everyone.
The good news is that, with increasing numbers of schools opting for academy status and schools receiving more targeted funding from the Pupil Premium, there is now an opportunity to reverse this worrying trend. Schools have control of their own budgets and can choose to spend this money on areas that can really make a difference to the school and the community in which they operate.
FocusPsychology delivers services that can make the difference; we believe passionately that effective psychology, using a wide range of techniques and approaches with a focus on the community around the child and young person, can improve individual life chances directly and also enhance the wider environment. We are unique in actively promoting the establishment of school to school collaboration in the same locality, supported by a single, dedicated psychological practice. We work together with you, integrated with your staff team, to raise standards for everyone, aiming to break the cycle of impaired education and limited social opportunities that can blight the lives of our most important assets - our children and young people.
If you believe as we do, please get in touch, together we can make a difference.