What qualifications do Educational Psychologists have?
Educational Psychology is a child-centred profession with the core purpose of helping children and young people with their learning. Educational Psychologists are registered professionals who are highly qualified, experienced and entitled to practise Educational Psychology.
All Educational Psychologists must have a first degree at honours level in the academic discipline of Psychology, or have an equivalent qualification. In addition, to practise as an Educational Psychologist they must have undertaken postgraduate training to at least Master’s Degree level.
Educational Psychologists are not usually medically qualified; rather they are teachers and educators and experts in educational matters.
Educational Psychologists are expected to continue their training after they have qualified and the majority of Educational Psychologists are actively engaged in training or research.
What do Educational Psychologists do?
Educational Psychologists have a statutory role; Local Authorities must, by law, involve Educational Psychologists in the identification of children who may need Statements of Special Educational Need.
Educational Psychologists work with other professionals such as teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, paediatricians, general practitioners, audiologists, and physiotherapists, but their client is always the child and it is an important part of their job to advocate for children and young people.
Educational Psychologists are experts in child development, learning, emotional development and behaviour. They can offer advice for all children between the ages of 0 and 19 years. Psychologists will only offer to become involved in those areas in which they are trained and experienced and they will say if they think they cannot offer help.
Who employs Educational Psychologists?
Most Educational Psychologists are employed by Local Authorities and their services are offered free at the point of contact. Some psychologists prefer to work independently and they charge a fee for what they do. It is up to parents and carers to choose whether to work with a Educational Psychologist from the local authority or one that is independent.