Exploring the role of assistant Educational Psychologists within local authority Educational Psychology services in England

Tracey Woodley-Hume, Kevin Woods

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Abstract

Following consistently high demands for Educational Psychology Services (EPSs) (Truong & Ellam, 2014) and recent influences upon the delivery of EPSs (Lee & Woods, 2017), the contribution of assistant Educational Psychologists (EPs) was explored via a multiple case study design. Participants included assistant psychologists, EPs and senior/ principal psychologists from two local authority EPSs in England. Recorded focus groups and interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was conducted to produce a cross case analysis. It was found that the role emerged from EP recruitment difficulties and that assistants work in diverse ways to enhance and extend the EPS offer to schools to improve outcomes for children, however the role did not reduce the demand of EP workloads. Challenges to the successful deployment of assistant EPs were highlighted along with implications for practice and future research. Benefits for the assistants themselves included career progression experience.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Psychology in Practice
Early online date4 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • assistant educational psychologist
  • Contribution
  • paraprofessionals
  • School psychology
  • Role

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