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Educational psychology consultation explained

Plymouth Educational Psychology Service


What is consultation?

Consultation is a conversation with a purpose, where everyone involved has an equal opportunity to openly share their concerns and views.

The aim is to devise a plan to help the pupil. The Educational Psychologist's (EPs) role is to support the adults involved to develop solutions and to collaboratively create an action plan for schools and parents/carers to implement.

  • No individual in the meeting has greater power than the other
  • Everyone has an active role to play
  • It is confidential unless there are any safeguarding risks
  • Consultees have the right to accept or reject suggestions

What does it involve?

  • The discussion will focus on the pupil and can be held in an informal or formal setting
  • Solution-focused questions will be asked. Notes and actions will be recorded to form an action plan

Step one - planning Phase

Planning conversation between school staff and their link EP with verbal parental consent

Step two - reflection and data collection

School staff record their current concerns and hoped-for outcomes on the Request for EP Involvement form and gain written parental consent

Step three - consultation and discussion

An initial consultation or a review meeting to discuss the progress of previously agreed actions. Parents/carers share their views during the consultation. A record of the consultation is made, and future actions jointly agreed which may involve an EP.

Step four - agreed Actions carried out

By school staff, family, carers and EP's.

What are the benefits?

  • The participation of parents/carers is promoted, and they feel listened to. This can help build a positive working relationship between home and school.
  • It helps to promote early intervention.
  • Schools can work effectively and proactively with the local Educational Psychology Service.
  • School staff problem-solving skills are enhanced and their confidence in effecting change increases, so they will be equipped for future challenges.

How to prepare

  • Take time to understand the consultation process. Parents/Carers can talk to the school's SENCO for support.
  • Think about what you want to gain from the consultation. What would you like to happen following the consultation?
  • Parents/Carers are encouraged to complete any forms The EP has requested prior to the meeting. Knowledge and experience of the child/young person is essential to a thorough consultation.

Consultation FAQ's

How is a consultation requested?

Schools can submit the online 'Request for EP Involvement' form after an initial discussion and agreement with their link EP. The form is designed to help teachers and parents/carers to prepare for a consultation with the EP, by gathering the information required for the consultation.

Do school staff need parental consent to discuss a pupil with an EP?

Yes, written consent from those with parental responsibility for the pupil is required before submitting the online request form. For children in Care, this is most likely to include the consent of their Social Worker too. Without consent, the EP will only be able to hold a consultation with you on a non-named basis.

Will a consultation lead to any further assessments?

In some cases, it may be agreed for individualised assessment or direct work to be conducted. A written record can be regarded as evidence of the involvement of external specialist services. This will be dependent on the cause of concern and the information already available. Parents/carers will be informed if any assessment or direct work is to be carried out by an EP.



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