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Educational psychologists debate selective schooling at their annual conference

12 January 2017

The Society's Division of Education and Child Psychology annual conference will focus on challenging beliefs and exposing myths around selective schooling over two days in Harrogate.

Today sees the start of the Division of Education and Child Psychology annual conference where speakers will explore the evidence for recent government educational decisions and the impact this is having on children, families, the community and staff that work in schools.

Brian Apter, Chair- Elect of DECP, said:

“Whilst it is acknowledged that many children and young people attending school have unmet mental health needs as the Prime Minister has reported this week, it is also true to say that many pupils attending schools have mental health needs effectively and expertly met by educational psychologists in school in partnership with their parents/carers and with the pupil's teachers."

"There are currently 200 plus long-term vacancies for Local Authority Educational Psychologists and the significant shortage is unlikely to change in the short term. Not enough educational psychologists are being trained to meet the statutory special educational needs of Local Authorities - let alone the previously un-factored therapeutic mental health needs of school age pupils mentioned in this week's speech.

"This statement was a missed opportunity to recognise the work undertaken by educational psychologists as the valuable highly-skilled resource that they are in respect of meeting the mental health needs of pupils in school.“

Other speakers include Melissa Benn, writer and compaigner, Dan Goodley, University of Sheffield, Dr Halit Hulusi, Senior Educational Psychologist at Birmingham City Council and Phil Raws from The Children's Society.

The 2017 DECP annual conference: Challenging Beliefs and Exposing Myths takes place on the Thursday 12 and Friday 13 January at The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate. 


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