Group of children eating

Division of Educational and Child Psychology

The purpose of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology is to promote the professional interests of educational and child psychologists and to develop psychology both as a profession and as a body of knowledge and skills.

About us

We support our members by:

  • keeping them up to date with all the latest news from the Division and the Society
  • organising regular events to support their continuing professional development
  • providing training and advice on matters of research and practice

What do Educational Psychologists do?

Educational psychologists look at how children and young people experience life within the context of their school and home environment and how different factors in these environments interact with each other.

Much of an educational psychologist's work is focused on supporting children and young people in educational settings however educational psychologists can also offer support to parents to help meet their children's needs at home and to schools and local authorities to help them develop and improve their systems.

If you are a parent and think your child may need support from an educational psychologist it will be helpful to speak to your school's special educational needs coordinator and to look at the Local Offer on your local authority's website.

All educational psychologists are practitioner psychologists registered with the Health Care Professionals Council.

How do Educational Psychologists support children and young people?

Educational Psychologists support young people and children with their:

  • concentration difficulties
  • emotional and behavioural needs
  • learning needs
  • physical disabilities
  • sensory needs such as problems with eyesight or hearing.
  • social skills difficulties
The ways in which Educational Psychologists support their clients include:
Consultations

Meeting with parents or carers and other professionals to discuss a child or young person’s needs and how best to help them.

Multi agency work

Leading and/or participating in a range of multi-agency and multi-disciplinary panels and child-centred planning meetings.

One to one and small group interventions

Educational psychologists may deliver one to one or small group interventions to promote learning and emotional wellbeing.

They may also train and supervise school staff to enable them to deliver these interventions.

Psychological assessments

Visiting educational settings to gather information about a child or young persons needs using methods such as observation, pupil interviews and one to one assessment. 

Research and evaluation

Designing and carrying out research to enhance practice and improve outcomes.

Strategic work

Educational psychologists support schools and local authorities to improve all children’s emotional wellbeing and experiences of learning.

Supporting parents

Jointly identifying strategies to use at home, setting up and running training, delivering therapeutic interventions to help support parents' relationships with their children.

Supporting staff development

Examples include delivering training, staff coaching and providing professional supervision for specialised interventions.

Time to Play campaign
Campaign

Time to Play

School play offers benefits to children's wellbeing and is essential for their social development. But time assigned for play in t

Awards and funding

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

As a division, we want to recognise the outstanding research and practice that occurs every year within our profession.

We know that outstanding research and practice happens across all career stages in the profession and we have reshaped our awards to reflect this.

You will see that many of our awards are now open to practitioners at all stages of their careers, including trainee EPs.

Our new awards are:

  • Lifetime achievement in educational psychology
  • Innovation and impact in published research
  • Distinguished contribution to practice
  • Doctoral dissertation award

In line with our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion we will seek to recognise nominations where positive impact for disadvantaged or marginalised social groups is demonstrated.

Awards

Lifetime achievement in educational psychology

This annual award recognises and celebrates exceptional and sustained contributions in a career as an educational psychologist.

It is anticipated that this award will be made to an educational psychologist near or after the end of their career.

Nominations are now closed.

A commemorative certificate will be presented to the recipient at an appropriate Division of Educational Psychology Conference. The recipient will receive one day attendance at the annual conference and will also be invited to deliver an address at the conference.  Criteria

Nominees should be:

  • Current or retired educational psychology practitioners in any area of professional educational psychology.
  • Members of the Society and DECP. - Nominations are not limited to UK residents. - Self-nominations are acceptable and you should provide a supporting statement from a full divisional member 

Nominees should have:

  • Demonstrated exceptional practice over a significant period of time, including impact outside their primary job role. This award is for lifetime achievement rather than a single contribution.
  • Enjoyed outstanding personal achievement and reinvested in psychology through encouraging and developing others.
  • Displayed a wisdom and depth of service/leadership that has made a significant difference to a number of individuals or groups. 

Innovation and impact in published research

This annual award is aimed at educational psychologists (including trainees) in recognition of a particularly innovative piece of research.

The Innovation and Impact in Research award celebrates the high-quality research that is published each year within the field of Educational Psychology in the UK.

This award can be made to psychologists at any stage in their career.

Nominations are now closed.

The award will confer a commemorative certificate, which will be presented to the recipient at an appropriate Division of Educational Psychology conference. 

Criteria

Nominees should be:

  • Current (or recently retired) practitioners in any area of professional educational psychology.
  • Members of the Society and DECP. -Nominations are not limited to UK residents. - Self-nominations are acceptable and you should provide a supporting statement from a full DECP member

Nominees should have:

  • Been instrumental in the development of an innovative piece of research (we welcome nominations for all types of research, small or large scale, using a wide variety of research methods).
  • Improved psychological knowledge and understanding.
  • Had a positive impact on individuals, communities or organisations.
  • Publication of the research in a peer-reviewed journal within the last 12 months is a requirement for this award

Distinguished contribution to practice

This annual award recognises practitioner educational psychologists at any stage of their career for work that has made an outstanding contribution to a particular area, for the benefit of people and organisations.

We believe that such contributions to educational psychology practice are possible regardless of how long you have been in the profession and so this award is for practitioners at any stage of their career, including training.

Nominations are now closed. 

The award will confer a commemorative certificate, which will be presented to the recipient at an appropriate Division of Educational Psychology conference 

Criteria

Nominees should be:

  • Current practitioners in any area of professional educational psychology.
  • Members of the Society. - Nominations are not limited to UK residents. - Self-nominations are acceptable and you should provide a supporting statement from a full divisional member 

Nominees will have:

  • Made a distinguished contribution in one particular work stream or project area (rather than a culmination of a career in educational psychology).
  • Improved psychological knowledge and understanding in the particular area.
  • Had a positive impact on individuals, communities or organisations.
  • Demonstrated high standards of ethics and conduct 
  • Made informed use of theory, research and literature to shape practice

Doctoral dissertation award

The EP Doctoral Dissertation Award recognises the excellent research that is produced each year by trainee EPs and those on CPD doctorate courses as part of their thesis projects.

We recognise that these substantial research projects often demonstrate high levels of innovation and quality, though may not be published in peer-reviewed journals. We are keen to celebrate this research output and would welcome nominations for research that demonstrates originality and has already ‘made an impact’.

This annual award is aimed at DECP members who have completed their thesis within the last two years and been awarded their doctorate – this includes both initial training and CPD Doctorates.

Nominations are now closed. 

The award will confer a commemorative certificate, which will be presented to the recipient at an appropriate Division of Educational Psychology conference 

Criteria

Nominees should be:

  • Current practitioners in any area of professional educational psychology.
  • Members of the Society. - Nominations are not limited to UK residents. - Self-nominations are acceptable and you will also need to provide a statement of support (up to 250 words) from your thesis supervisor or programme team. This should include their name, role and institution.  

Nominees should have:

  • Shown innovation or originality (for example: in topic area, research methods, sample population, findings). 
  • Made a strong contribution to the profession’s research and evidence base through their dissertation or thesis
  • Demonstrated impact from the research (for example: in the profession or community). This is impact in the broadest sense e.g. changing practice in a local area or evidence of how the research findings and implications have been disseminated.
  • Completed their thesis within the last two years.

Please note that publication in a peer-reviewed journal is not required for this award.

Previous Award Winners

Award for Outstanding Contributions to Educational and Child Psychology

2019 - Dr Jane Leadbetter

2018 - Dr Simon Gibbs

2017 - Professor Irvine Gersch

2016 - Professor Norah Frederickson

2015 - Min O'Hara

2014 - Hilary Kennedy

2013 - Keith Venables

2012 - Patsy Wagner and E.C. Raybould

2011 - Anne Peake

2010 - Dr Sean Cameron

2009 - Andy Miller

Funding

DECP Sponsored Applied Research Award - applications now closed

The Division of Educational and Child Psychology, following consultation with its membership, has agreed to promote relevant, innovative and applied research in the field of educational psychology.

Applications are now closed.

Criteria

  • The applicant/s must be a full member of the DECP and must be a practising educational and child psychologist
  • The applicant should be able to demonstrate competencies in an area of applied research through the research proposal
  • The research area identified must clearly relate sound psychological theory to a significant aspect of applied practice.
  • The research proposal must demonstrate direct potential benefit to the members of the DECP in their work with schools, children and young people.
  • The research proposal must state explicitly the theoretical underpinnings of the work, the research questions and hypothesis under investigation and the methodology (including evaluation), with projected time-scale.
  • In addition to research proposals that stand in their own right, consideration will also be given to proposals where a pilot piece of research would be DECP sponsored but where there are indications of it leading to major research funding. Research that is a development of work undertaken as part of initial training would also be considered.
  • The application should provide an outline of research work that enhances the development of professional practice.

Total sponsorship is set initially at a maximum of £5,000 per annum and this will be spread across one or more projects. Final decisions about the allocation of funding will be taken in light of submissions received. 

Please note 

  • Money will be paid retrospectively on submission of receipts. Submissions for reimbursements must be made within 18 months.
  • References will be taken up after shortlisting.
  • A report must be submitted to the DECP at the end of the project within 2 years and which might be included in a professional journal such as Debate, Educational and Child Psychology, or other professional publication.  Any publication or conference presentation which arises out of this work should acknowledge the funding provided by the DECP.
  • Funding is not available for direct contribution to any course fees, or for corporate bids.

Meet the committee

Co-Chair: Dr Olympia Palikara

Dr Olympia Palikara is Co-Chair of the Division of Child and Educational Psychology.

Olympia is a trained Educational Psychologist and Associate Professor in Educational Psychology in the University of Warwick.

She is particularly interested in the educational and psychosocial outcomes of children and young people with developmental disorders and special educational needs.

She is also interested in the effect of educational transitions, including from primary to secondary school and secondary to post-compulsory education, on children’s wellbeing and mental health.

She is member of the DECP committee and also represents the DECP in the Psychology in Education Standing Committee of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Association (EFPA). 

Co-Chair: Dr Victoria Lewis

Victoria is Co-Chair of the Division of Child and Educational Psychology.

Victoria is passionate about the profession of Educational Psychology and keen for the discipline to listen and reflect so that it can support the best set of possible outcomes for children and young people.

She qualified as an educational psychologist in the year 2000, having first worked as a primary school teacher.

Victoria is interested in supporting inclusion and diversity and is interested in working at the organisational and systems level as she believes that this will help to maximise impact.  Victoria is privileged to work as an academic and professional tutor at two initial doctoral training courses, at both the University of Nottingham and the University of Sheffield.

Victoria is seconded to the University of Nottingham by Derbyshire County Council, where she enjoys collaborating with a range of educational settings and their communities. 

Chair Elect: Dr Cynthia Pinto

Dr Cynthia Pinto is chair elect of the Division of Child and Educational Psychology' and works for Hillingdon Educational Psychology Service.

Cynthia is currently involved with three projects for the DECP. She has been working with the Joint Professionals Liaison Group to develop guidance for EPs when providing statutory advice.

In addition, Cynthia is involved in the BPS’s Psychological Government programme which has produced a report examining the stressors faced by those working in the House of Commons.

Finally, Cynthia is working on a paper reviewing alternatives to medication for children and young people with an ADHD diagnosis. She is a joint Year One co-ordinator at University College London (UCL), Institute of Education.

Co-Past (Vice) Chair: Dr Dan OHare

Dr Dan O'Hare is a Chartered Educational Psychologist who currently works for a local authority and as a lecturer at the University of Bristol.

He is the current co-past (vice) chair elect of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology and in this role has contributed to a range of guidance regarding the wellbeing of children, young people, and teachers during the coronavirus pandemic.

He is the founder of edpsy.org.uk - an online magazine for educational psychologists.

Co-Past (Vice) Chair: Dr Melernie Meheux

Melernie Meheux is co-past (vice) chair of the Division of Child and Educational Psychology (DECP) and a Senior Educational Psychologist working within a Local Authority.

She is a Play Therapist and joint Year One co-ordinator at University College London (UCL), Institute of Education.

Her professional interests also include attachment, the social, emotional and mental health of children and supporting children who have been excluded or are at risk of permanent school exclusion.

Honorary Treasurer: Dr Helena Bunn

Helena’s experience covers aspects of child and adult psychology, educational and life outcomes, academic and research practice in Romania and England. 

Whilst in Romania, she worked as a psychologist in education and as a course director and was actively involved in European initiatives focused on special educational needs practices and support systems for children in state care and asylum seekers.

In England, she works as a principal lecturer at a London University and as a senior educational psychologist. She delivers consultancy services to organisations and has a specific interest in providing expert witness services involving former Romanian orphans and immigrants.

Honorary Secretary: Dr Gavin Morgan

Having been an Educational Psychologist for over 20 years, Gavin has held a number of roles in the profession, and for the last twelve years has been an Academic and Professional Tutor on the Educational Psychology doctorate courses at University College London, a role which also includes supervision of research into the practice of Educational Psychology.

Gavin is also a Senior EP in Northamptonshire. 

Committee Member: Dr Abigail Wright

Abigail currently works for Neath and Port Talbot Council in South Wales. 

Prior to her work as an educational psychologist, she has worked as a teaching assistant, learning support mentor, play worker, support worker, volunteer research assistant, and an 'Intensive Interaction' facilitator for children who were home educated. She undertook these roles whilst studying for her BSc Psychology degree and MSc in Research Methods in Psychology at Swansea University. Abigail originally joined the DECP committee as a trainee representative in her second year of EP training and has remained on the committee ever since.

Abigail qualified as an Educational Psychologist after completing her doctorate at Cardiff University in 2016. She has worked as an educational psychologist for both primary and secondary school aged children, but has more recently taken up a role with an early years specialism.

Her specific special interests include social communication and interaction, inclusion, attachment, parenting/caregiving, play, and autistic spectrum condition. She is especially passionate about early childhood development and the role of parents/carers in supporting children’s wellbeing, learning and development.

Committee Member: Dr Christopher Arnold

Dr Christopher Arnold has been a practising Educational Psychologist for over 35 years and developed special interests in reducing exclusions and dropout rates by analysing risk factors as well as numeracy assessment.

He is a regular contributor to conferences and has worked in a range of European locations as well as advising the EU on dropout reduction policies.  He has published a number of books and is currently working on a book looking at the effect that the Covid pandemic is having on children.

He is currently principal psychologist with psychologicalservices.gb ltd.

Committee Member: Denise Miller

Denise achieved a BA in Education from the University of Greenwich. She taught in primary schools for 8 years before embarking on training to become an Educational Psychologist.

Denise attained an MSc in Educational Psychology from University College London and she started working as a fully qualified Educational Psychologist in the London Borough of Lambeth in 2005.

In 2014, Denise successfully completed a Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology, and then soon after she returned to the University of Greenwich, this time as a senior lecturer. In 2021, Denise achieved promotion to Associate Professor in Child and Educational Psychology.

At present, as a programme leader, senior lecturer and child and educational psychologist in private practice, Denise currently works in early years, primary and secondary school settings, as well as, further and higher education, and clinical and legal (i.e., expert witness and tribunal) contexts. Denise is passionate about undertaking research that involves examining marginalised educational professional’s and children and young people's experiences in the education sector.

Committee Member - Professor Vivian Hill

Vivian is chairing the Literacy Difficulties Working Group, which includes representatives from Local Authority services, University departments, NAPEP and the AEP and is developing new policy and practice guidance for EPs working with children with literacy difficulties.

Vivian chaired the BPS working group that developed the curriculum for extended training in educational psychology, and supports the organisation of the annual DECP Trainee Conference.

She is part of the BPS Medicalization of Childhood working group and spoke at a House of Commons debate on this subject.

In March 2020 she was asked to lead the BPS COVID-19 Co-ordinating Group’s Isolation and Confinement work strand. She is also representing the DECP in the BPS Poverty to Flourishing Campaign. 

Vivian has a keen interest in the role of research in developing the professional knowledge and skills base of applied educational psychologists. Areas of research interest include: the links between emotional development and mental health and wellbeing, the influences of life experience on cognitive development and learning, attachment theory, contemporary models and understandings of intelligence, the educational experiences of children in public care, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, children’s mental health and well-being, the rights of all children and in particular those with additional needs, specific learning difficulties and promoting equal opportunities.

Vivian actively promotes and engages in multi-disciplinary training activities and has an interest in community safeguarding. Vivian has been involved in a number of documentaries for the BBC and Channel Four promoting the contribution of educational psychology. 

Committee Member - Thomas Boden

Bio to follow.

Committee Member - Rachel Meyrick

Bio to follow.

Committee Member: Dr Hester Riviere

Hester is an Educational Psychologist working in Oxfordshire in a Local Authority multi-disciplinary team that supports care-experienced children and their families. 

In this specialist role her professional interests are in attachment and developmental trauma, how these impact on children’s experiences in education, and how school staff can best be supported to work with children with complex emotional needs.

Hester is interested in introducing schools to the principles of Non-violent Resistance and to the approaches of Dr Dan Hughes in working with children who have experienced trauma. She is an accredited VIG guider.

Hester also works as a main grade EP with an independent group of colleagues in schools in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties, and as a tutor on the UCL Institute of Education Doctorate in Professional Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Committee Member - Alison Greenwood

Alison Greenwood is an educational psychologist at Cornwall Council and an online course creator.  She has a special interest in the use of technology to support pupils with special educational needs.

Committee Member: Dr Sarah Taylor-Whiteway

Sarah is an Educational Psychologist working for Wandsworth local authority and is a lecturer and tutor on the DEdPsy course at the Institute of Education, UCL.

Prior to her doctorate, Sarah taught maths in a secondary school.  

Sarah is interested in supporting whole-school change and has recently undertaken projects promoting the ‘voice of children’ in special schools and introducing psychological supervision for teachers.  

Sarah also publishes a regular podcast, The Emotional Curriculum, where she interviews academics and practitioners with a view to promoting social and emotional development to people working in schools and education.

Committee Member - Dr Kristina Balampanidou

Dr Kristina Balampanidou completed her doctorate training at the The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in September 2019. 

She is passionate about supporting school systems to build policies around mental health and affect changes within systems.

She is currently interested in Compassion Focused Therapy and supporting children and young people with traumatic experiences.  

Committee Member: Dr Sarah Chestnutt

Sarah is an Educational Psychologist who qualified from the University of Exeter in 2018.

Sarah works within a local authority supporting children, families and school communities. She is involved in specialist work within the early years, as well as with young people who have social and emotional needs.

Sarah’s interests include supporting with trauma-informed approaches, enabling young people to share their views and aspirations, and community psychology. She is a member of the BPS’ DECP committee and is the Undergraduate Student Conference Lead for the BPS Branch in the South West of England.

Sarah is passionate about growing access to opportunities within psychology for communities, students and the wider psychological profession.  

DECP NI Chair: Callum Urquhart

Callum Urquhart is an Educational Psychologist working in the Education Authority Northern Ireland.

Callum is the Chair of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology Committee in Northern Ireland (DECP NI).

Debate Editorial Board: Matthew Baker

Bio to follow.

Educational and Child Psychology Editor: Vacant

Position currently vacant.

Ethics Committee Representative - Vacant

Now recruiting. 

NAPEP Representative: Rhona Hobson

Bio to follow.

Programme Director Link: Dr Nick Durbin

Bio to follow.

Programme Director Link: Dr Tony Williams

Bio to follow.

PsyPAG Representative - Chloe Casey

Bio to follow.

Year 3 In Training Link: Lianne Lusted

Bio to follow.

Year 3 In Training Link: Richard Gregory

Richard Gregory is a 2nd year trainee educational psychologist at The University of Manchester.

He is currently on placement with Wakefield’s Educational Psychology Service, and is one of two, 3rd year trainee representatives on the DECP committee.

Prior to training, I gained experience working in secure mental health units, as an assistant psychologist in a community learning disability service, and as a pastoral head of year in a secondary school. I have also held several voluntary positions such as within the youth justice system and third sector organisations.

My doctoral research focuses on producing a novel pathway planning process using Self-Determination Theory. I aim to produce a framework that is practical in scope, and promotes the autonomy, social relatedness, and feelings of competency of young people. I have a keen interest in helping young people create meaningful lives characterised by wellbeing and social inclusion. I am also interested in shaping processes and systems, that support the healthy development of young people as they progress into adulthood.

Being a part of the DECP committee has offered me the opportunity to further develop professionally, through learning from its members and associates. I am excited to contribute to the committee’s work through representing my fellow trainees.

Year 2 In Training Link: Sophie Cave

Bio to follow.

Internal Representative for PPB: James McTaggart

Bio to follow.

TEPICC Representative: Mikel Johnson

Bio to follow.

DECP Associate Member: April Romney

Bio to follow.

DECP Associate Member: David Traxson

Bio to follow.

DECP Associate Member: Yvonne Needham

Bio to follow.

DECP Associate Member: Juliet Whitehead

Dr Juliet Whitehead is Assistant Principal Educational Psychologist working for Coventry City Council. 

Since returning from Juliet Whitehead - Committee bio picmaternity leave last year, I have become an associate DECP committee member. Prior to this, I served on the committee for 10 years.

I have carried out a range of roles including Conference Lead, Honorary Secretary and Chair. It has been a pleasure contributing to numerous DECP working groups and publications including Ethical Trading, Leadership for Educational Psychologists, the Medicalisation of Childhood and Mental Health.

DECP Associate Member: Kathryn Gibb

Bio to follow.

DECP Associate Member: Kim OConnor

Kim is an educational psychologist, working in Kingston and Richmond, and the Honorary Secretary of the DECP committee.

She works as an EP for a community interest company that provides local authority services and part of her role involves supporting children who are looked after, through the Virtual School. Kim completed her Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at UCL in 2016, and worked in Greenwich following this.

Her interests include promoting the psychological wellbeing of children and the adults who support them, improving outcomes for looked-after children and evidence-based practice.

Publications

Educational & Child Psychology

A collection of papers that make significant and original contributions to the field of educational and child psychology. 

Download

DECP Debate

A collection of papers that make significant and original contributions to the field of educational and child psychology.

Download

Resources

Books

Guidelines

Position Papers

Membership of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.

Apply to join the DECP (students, affiliates, e-subscribers)

Apply to join the DECP (graduate, chartered, and in-training members)

If you are not already a member you can join the DECP at the same time as applying for membership of the society.

There are three grades of divisional membership:

  • Full Divisional membership - £45

    For fully qualified psychologists who are eligible for Chartered Status.

  • In-training Divisional membership - £25 (free for 1st year Doctoral students)

    For psychologists in-training who hold Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and are working towards Chartered status and Full Divisional membership.

  • General Divisional membership - £30

    For members of the Society who are not currently eligible for the above grades, to join as a General Member.

Benefits of belonging

Benefits of Division of Education and Child Psychology Membership

  • Access to a members only area of the DECP website with presentations and handouts from previous CPD events
  • Access to news, guidance and resources
  • A hard copy of DECP Debate, quarterly
  • A hard copy of Educational and Child Psychology, quarterly
  • Dedicated CPD events for trainee and newly qualified educational psychologists
  • Discounts on CPD opportunities, books, and conferences hosted by the DECP
  • Opportunities to contribute to and participate in the work of the DECP, raising awareness of children and young peoples’ psychological and learning needs
  • Opportunities to publish and disseminate research through the division’s publications and conferences
  • Opportunities for trainees to get involved as representatives and/or associates
  • The opportunity to contribute to the promotion and development of the educational psychology profession

Member Announcement Email List

The Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

By becoming a member of the DECP you are automatically added to the announcement list.

To receive these emails you will need to:

  1. become a member of the DECP
  2. opt into receiving email communication and provide a working email address

These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services.

To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'DECP announcement email' in the subject line.

Getting Involved with the DECP Committee

The Division of Education and Child Psychology relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Division is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or in-training members, and together form an open and inclusive community.  

If you would like to apply to join the Committee, you can submit a Statement of Interest, found on our Members Online Resources area.