Educational psychology requests
Consultation meeting requests
Educational psychologists (EPs) maintain their links with schools through the cluster consultation model. Through this model, EPs offer group and individual consultations to special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs). This enables EPs to optimise their contact with schools and support action planning.
Group consultation meetings are offered in the first half of each term and individual consultation meetings are offered during the second half of each term. Each school has a Link EP who will provide the dates and times of the group and individual consultation meetings to the SENCO.
SENCOs should refer to the Schools' Portal for guidance regarding how to register their intention to discuss a child or young person at an EP consultation meeting.
If a child or young person has an education, health and care (EHC) plan and a SENCO has significant concerns that:
- their needs are no longer accurately identified in the EHC plan and/or
- the outcomes and provision detailed within the EHC plan are no longer meeting their needs
they should follow the annual review process and can contact the inclusion service if needed. Please see the guidance: educational psychology involvement in annual reviews.
SENCOs working within early years settings should refer to the guidance below regarding how to make a request for EP involvement.
Pre-request (universal, high quality teaching and SEN support) – when concerns are first identified:
- The early years practitioner raises concerns with the early years special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) in the setting.
- Discussion takes place with parents/carers.
- Setting staff complete a preliminary assessment as part of the graduated response (assess/plan/do/review cycle) using the early years foundation stage tracker.
- A targeted learning plan should be developed with practitioners, parent/carers and any specialists that are involved. The plan should contain specific areas for development, the interventions and support to be put in place and the expected impact on progress. Parents/carers should be involved in planning support and, where appropriate, in reinforcing the provision or contributing to progress at home. The plan should usually be implemented for at least six weeks and then reviewed. At the review, progress should be discussed and any interventions modified if necessary, depending on need and progress.
If the child's progress is appropriate:
- Setting staff will continue to monitor progress and development using an appropriate tracking tool.
If the child's progress is still of concern:
- With the agreement of parents/carers, setting staff may request involvement from an external specialist(s), such as a specialist teacher and/or a speech and language therapist, for example.
- The specialist(s) should be able to help identify effective strategies, equipment, programmes or other interventions to enable the child to make progress towards the desired learning and development outcomes.
- The child's progress and response to interventions in relation to the desired outcomes should be reviewed and any interventions modified if necessary, depending on need and progress.
If the child's progress remains a concern:
If, despite the staff having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress, making a request for involvement from an educational psychologist can be considered. In addition, the following criteria should have been met:
- The child has significant delays in two or more areas of need.
- Delays have persisted over time despite relevant, purposeful and planned programmes of support, including involvement from a specialist teacher.
- If the rate of a child's progress is a significant cause for concern, despite relevant, purposeful and planned programmes of support (as indicated by the early years foundation stage tracker).
Requests for educational psychologist involvement:
Requests for an educational psychologist's involvement will be considered by a group of educational psychologists at early years educational psychologist moderation group meetings. The early years educational psychologist moderation group meetings will take place in September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June and July.
Please note that any requests for EP involvement received after the July moderation group meeting deadline will not be considered until the next moderation group meeting in September. (If, however, the child will be starting school by that time, it is the responsibility of the early years SENCO to discuss the child's needs with the receiving school's SENCO.)
Submit a request
Requests need to be submitted on the latest EP request form: Request for educational psychologist involvement: early years (PDF 118 KB).
For a Word version of this document SENCOs can email their area office:
- East Lancashire (Inclusion.East@lancashire.gov.uk)
- North Lancashire (Inclusion.North@lancashire.gov.uk)
- South Lancashire (Inclusion.South@lancashire.gov.uk)
Once the request form is completed, the early years SENCO should email this securely to the relevant email address above. Alternatively, the early years SENCO may want to post the form to the following address:
Lancashire County Council,
PO Box 100,
What happens next
The early years SENCO will receive an acknowledgement from a business support officer upon receipt of the paperwork and will receive notification of when the next early years educational psychologist moderation group meetings will be taking place.
Following the moderation group meeting, the requestor will be notified of whether direct educational psychologist involvement has been agreed or not.
If direct early years involvement is agreed, the requestor will receive a letter confirming the decision, explaining that an educational psychologist will contact them shortly to arrange an appointment. The SENCO should then share this information with the child's parent(s)/carers(s).
If direct educational psychologist involvement is not agreed, the requestor will receive a letter confirming the decision and the SENCO should then share the decision with the child's parent(s)/carers(s).
Requests for educational psychologist involvement should include:
- A copy of the child's evaluated targeted learning plan (prior and during specialist teacher involvement) and a copy of the new plan in place (Evidence of having followed the above assess, plan, do, review process).
- Early years foundation stage tracking information.
- Any relevant professional reports (paediatrician/portage worker/speech and language therapist/occupational therapist/physiotherapist/children's social care/specialist teacher etc.).
Please note, that priority will be given to children with the highest level of need.