An Exploratory Case Study to Consider the Distinctive Contribution of Educational Psychologists as Trainers within Children's Services

  • Jenny Dutton

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


Background: Due to a change in service delivery, the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) in which the researcher works now has an income-generated target which represents 20% of the full cost of the service. An increasing amount of this traded work is delivered in the form of training. Whilst training is perceived to be an important role of an Educational Psychologist (EP), there is a dearth of published literature about the role of the EP as a trainer. It was therefore felt that it would be useful to establish a more in-depth understanding of the EP's role as a trainer, its distinctive and valuable contribution and the content and process elements of effective EP training.Participants: Sixteen participants in total took part within the study. This included the Principal Educational Psychologist of a Central England Metropolitan Local Authority, three EPs who delivered three separate training events, the three commissioners of the EP training events, and nine recipients of the EP training events.Methods: The study uses an exploratory single case study design, using a combination of semi-structured interviews and a focus group with additional data from a training observation, documentary analysis of training materials and training evaluation data. The interviews and focus group were analysed using inductive, explicit thematic analysis.Findings: A wide range of themes were identified about the distinct and valued contribution of EPs as trainers. Some of these included: EPs' psychological knowledge and skills; EPs' local knowledge of schools and other services; EPs' wider view of training. Further findings identified the competing demands for Educational Psychology Services in delivering effective training and the commercialisation of EP services within the current financial climate.Conclusions: The exploratory nature of the study allowed for distinct and valued contributions of EPs' as trainers to be identified. This resulted in a number of implications and recommendations for future practice.
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCatharine Atkinson (Supervisor) & Kevin Woods (Supervisor)


  • distinctive contribution
  • training
  • trainer
  • educational psychology
  • educational psychologist
  • CPD

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