Division of Educational & Child Psychology: Annual Report 2011

The past year has been busy, interesting and challenging for the members of the DECP and for the DECP committee. I am pleased to be able to report the activities undertaken by the committee on behalf of the membership and the profession more widely.

Two key topics have dominated the minds of members of the division and the committee and these relate to the changing role and employment basis that has been affecting the working lives of many of us, due to local authority reorganisations and cuts. The second has been the continuing uncertainty over the training of educational psychologists. 

On the first of these topics we have been in close liaison with the AEP and NAPEP to ensure we have shared understandings of the changes affecting us all. We have had regular discussions at our committee meetings and have latterly agreed to set up a working group to consider the topic of ethical trading and professional practice for educational psychologists. This group is due to begin its work soon. Although the DECP does not have direct interest in terms and conditions relating to the work of EPs, we aim to ensure we can be responsive to concerns and queries from members regarding what is happening to them in their working lives.

The training of educational psychologists has been under review and we have been involved in the consultations in several ways. As we move to yet another new phase, it will be important that we liaise with the DECP training committee over matters of accreditation and curriculum review; both key aspects of maintaining high quality training.

As a committee we have met six times since the last AGM, including an extended wider issues meeting. We have sought to implement the DECP strategic plan, revising objectives as required as times change and priorities develop. As part of the BPS, it is important that we are aware of developments affecting other psychologists, particularly practitioner psychologists. We therefore send representatives to various BPS Boards and Committees as appropriate including the BPS Professional Practice Board and the BPS Representative Council and General Assembly.

Additionally we send representatives to:

  • National Forum for EP Training organised by the Children’s Workforce Development Council
  • Annual meeting of DECP associates
  • Termly meeting with the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) and National Association of Principal Educational Psychologists (NAPEP)
  • The Social Inclusion group within the BPS.

We are also strengthening links with other Divisions within the BPS including attending conferences and sending observers to each others’ committee meetings. Some joint work is envisaged in the future.

In terms of the structure of the committee, we have set up two sub-committees to oversee both our annual course event and secondly wider CPD opportunities.  Juliet Whitehead has taken over as lead organiser for the annual course and has proved to be a very capable and inspiring lead. More widely as the BPS has extended its role and functions as the learned body of the profession and has set up, amongst other groups the BPS Learning Centre. We have been working with them to plan a number of short CPD events to compliment the annual course and we have agreed a number of key priorities for the year. These topic areas went out to general tender and we have agreed topics and providers. This is an exciting area of expanding work and I would like to thank Jane Marriott for leading this work.

The committee has also ‘modernised’ itself in terms of roles and functions so that our press officers, Rob Beadel and Mike Hymans, have been renamed and have taken on a wider brief of ensuring our newly devised communications strategy is fit for purpose and that we are using state of the art means of communication. This is clearly an exciting area that we will continue to develop.

Within the committee others take on specific tasks and roles and Jean Law continues to be our link with the Debate team. As I move to become past-chair, I look forward to working alongside the officers, the committee and the membership during what will be, I am sure, a challenging and interesting 2012. I would like to thank particularly Chris Arnold, chair-elect, Harriet Martin, past-chair, Charmian Hobbs, honorary treasurer and Julia Hardy as honorary secretary, and finally Sue Eppel from the BPS for their support during the past year

Dr Jane Leadbetter, Chair