What is an educational psychologist?
The abbreviation Ed Psych stands for Educational Psychologist and you will commonly hear a school ask for “an Ed Psych report” before they will consider an admission. If your child is currently at a state school experiencing learning difficulties, then it’s quite possible they may arrange for a psychologist to do an assessment. (LEAs employ the greatest number of Ed Psychs) There is nothing to be afraid of with such an assessment – it’s usually just a series of reasoning tests combined with interviews. A good Ed Psych will also observe your child in a classroom situation.
Why insist on a Chartered Educational Psychologist?
However, from your point of view, if you are looking at private education, LEAs can be quite unhelpful (because they generally don’t want to pay for private schools) Therefore you may be better off with your own independent Ed Psych report. It’s ESSENTIAL that you choose a “Chartered” Education Psychologist belonging to the British Psychological Society. The only exception would be a recognised medical Clinician who was an authority on the designated disability. We regret to say that there are some plausible sounding Ed Psychs in practice who do not know what they are doing and are not properly qualified. Some have even been debarred by the BPS. The other factor is to check that the Chartered Ed Psych specialises in children of the age range of your child (ren) plus the nature of SEN suffered.
Private Schools will normally expect an Ed Psych assessment done within the last 2 years and preferably within one year to be absolutely current. Things change so quickly in a child’s development, don’t be put off obtaining a new report, even with the cost, which might be in the range £500 to £1,000
How do you find an Educational Psychologist?
You can search for an Ed Psych on the website of the British Psychological Society at https://www.bps.org.uk/lists/DIR The problem with this search engine is that it is quite cumbersome and difficult to use to find the right SEN condition and additionally the BPS will never tell you whether one of their Ed Psych members is better than another! We can usually recommend a reliable Chartered Educational Psychologist, but this is only done for clients as part of our bespoke advice process. Please phone us on +44 (0) 1622 813870