How schools access Educational Psychologists
All maintained (otherwise known as ‘state’ or ‘Local Authority’) schools, including Academies and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) in the UK are entitled to access a core Educational Psychology Service from their Local Authority. This generally includes statutory work such as assessing pupils with special educational needs and disabilities following a request for an Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP), or EHC needs assessments.
Some Local Authority Educational Psychology Services also offer the option for schools to purchase additional time and services. Often called ‘Traded Services’ these can include areas such as:
In addition to this, schools can access independent Educational Psychology services from private providers such as Psychology Direct. This is of course dependent on the school having the funds available to pay for such services. Whilst the statutory assessment process for the purposes of an Education, Health and Care plan must go through the Local Authority, providing an independent Educational Psychologist is suitably qualified and registered, most Local Authorities will accept their reports as part of the EHC needs assessment.
Many maintained schools have chosen to use a blend of the above and access Local Authority services where available, but use independent Educational Psychology services to supplement their needs.
Independent schools do not have access to Local Authority Educational Psychology Services and hence they tend to either buy in services from independent providers or, if their needs justify it, they may choose to employ an Educational Psychologist directly.