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What is an Educational Psychologist?

Educational Psychologists (EPs) undertake specialist work promoting social, emotional and behavioural development, well being and learning of young children. I apply psychology to support the social and emotional wellbeing with a particular focus on young children (early years and primary) to enhance their learning and development. I work using assessments and consultation and give advice and training to early years settings, schools and families.

Training in Educational Psychology brings together knowledge and experience of education and psychology. I have a degree in Psychology, am a qualified and experienced teacher and have a Master's degree and Doctorate in Educational Psychology.

What can I do as an Educational Psychologist?

I work at different levels within organisations:

  • with individual children
  • with groups of children
  • at the organsational level with staff
If I was working with an individual child, I assess the needs (learning and other aspects of development) of the child through:
  • individual assessment through use of observation, test materials and talking with the child
  • consultation and discussion with key staff and professionals
  • consultation and discussion with parents and family
This lets me build a picture of the child's strengths and areas of difficulty to understand what the child is good at and finds difficult, what helps them and what works best. I use this information to plan interventions to support the child to do their best. The intervention(s) will support and optimise the child’s learning, development and behaviour. This will come in the form of strategies to use within the early years setting and at home. This advice is for school staff, SENCOs, classroom teachers, early years practitioners and parents.

I can assess and advise regarding the education of children who may have a range of difficulties, including:

  • A learning difficulty
  • Developmental delay
  • Speech, language and communication difficulties
  • Behavioural, social and emotional difficulties
I can work with groups of children or support others to use evidence based intervention such as cognitive behaviour therapy approaches to support children in managing their anger, anxiety or stress. I also work with staff to establish social skills groups, Circles of Friends and support changes in children's behaviour. I also offer support to nurture group staff.

Working as a professional in the helping professions as a teacher, teaching assistant, Family Support worker, early years practitioner is a challenging and difficult role. Group supervision can help with this through regular supervision sessions with groups of staff to talk about difficulties, successes and stresses, learn from these experiences and to unload stress. If this is something you are interested in for a group of staff, click on group supervision for more information.

I also can deliver training to staff groups within schools, early years settings and Children's Centres on the following issues:
  • Attachment
  • Understanding young children's behaviour
  • Supporting children's social skills
  • Supporting children's self-esteem
  • Working in partnership with parents
In addition, if you have a specific training need not outlined above, I am able to write and deliver training over a wide range of topics in the Early Years. Please contact me to discuss your specific needs

Testimonials from teachers

As a teacher in an early years special needs unit, I had the pleasure of working closely with Anita for 8 years. As an EP, Anita has a passion for each individual child's needs. She assesses each child at their level, usually using play based assessment for the early years, and used these to make sensible suggestions. She is not afraid to stand up for the child, even if that means challenging my thinking, and she is always proved right.  Anita shows a great understanding of parent's concerns, and is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure they are reassured.

Personally, I value Anita's professional input and support. She has boundless energy, and helps turn my ideas into successful reality. Her detailed knowledge and specialism of early years combined with SEN makes her a truly unique EP. Anita questions my thinking in a gentle way to enable progress for the children and for me as a professional. Anita's skills are a truly valuable asset to any school team.

Suzanne Crossley, Early Years Teacher, Enhanced Nursery Unit, Redditch
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Educational Psychology
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 Testimonials from Head teachers

Anita has been part of the inclusive ethos of our school for 8 years:

  • Supporting children as an Educational Psychologist for individual pupils,
  • Leading staff development in areas such as attachment and strategies with Early Years pupils,
  • Running parent workshops on behaviour management and parenting, successfully engaging with ‘hard to reach families’,
  • Just being someone we can call when we run out of ideas, knowing she’ll be able to help from her vast experience or academic depth.

She bring a positive approach which means staff believe that the strategies she suggests will work, an approachable manner that means people are prepared to ask questions that might seem obvious, and the flexibility to have strategies that work with different people – children, staff and parents. She will go the extra mile to help those who need it.

Matt Whiteley, Batchley First School

Anita’s work was highly valued and she was much respected by staff and parents who recognised her depth of knowledge and experience, her professional integrity and energetic commitment.  Anita dealt with challenging situations in a calm realistic manner, offering advice and practical support that could be integrated into routine teaching situations and everyday home life.  Anita’s support was constant, she kept her promises and responded immediately to calls for help.   

Anita is approachable and has a bubbly personality. She was quickly accepted by staff and parents as a crucial member of the school team.  I can fully recommend Anita to all educational establishments, Children’s Centres and families who are seeking advice, support & training.  You will not be disappointed.

Cherrill Illingworth Retired Headteacher Oak Hill First School, Redditch     

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