Educational psychologists promote learning, wellbeing and development of children and young people from birth to young adulthood. They work with staff, pupils, parents and other professionals to help identify educational needs and strategies to meet those needs. They also carry out research and help develop policy and practice.
All of our schools and early years’ centres have a designated educational psychologist.
Where there are concerns for a young person, the psychologist may:
- consult with young people, parents and teachers about learning and behaviour
- gather information, sometimes by observing in the classroom or nursery
- identify strengths and areas where help is required
- link with parents and other professions to ensure collaboration
- advise parents and others about support needs
Raising a concern about behaviour or learning
Initial contact should be made through the head of the school or nursery, or for very young children via health or social services staff. If appropriate, a consultation will be arranged with the educational psychologist. This may be part of a Joint Support Team meeting if the child is of secondary school age.
Pre-School Community Assessment Team (PreSCAT)
PreSCAT provides a co-ordinated service to children with additional support needs and their families. The team, chaired by an educational psychologist and consisting of agencies already involved with the child, discusses additional support needs which require long-term continuing support and additional help.
These needs arise from a range of difficulties including:
- delayed development
- language and communication difficulties
- visual and hearing impairments
- physical difficulties
What happens next?
Recommendations and an action plan for the child will be agreed. Parents/carers will receive a copy of this plan.
Access to files
When the educational psychologist becomes directly involved with a child, a file is created to keep copies of notes and any letters or reports. This file is kept safe and confidential by the psychological service. Parents, or carers, can arrange to see the contents of this file by writing to the principal psychologist at the Irvine office.
The Psychological Service operates within the priorities and standards of North Ayrshire Council and has a range of quality assurance procedures. In addition, the service is subject to inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education, in the same way that schools are. Inspectors have full access to all service documents and records including individual files. Confidentiality is, of course, maintained by inspectors and no details about individuals would ever be discussed publicly.
Standards and Quality Report (Word, 580Kb)
Service Improvement Plan (Word, 172Kb)
North Ayrshire Council's HMIe report, summary of evaluation of the Psychological Service (PDF, 40kb).
Suggestions or complaints
We value feedback and suggestions from our clients. Should you wish to comment on the service you have received from the psychological service you can speak directly to the psychologist involved, or contact the principal psychologist.