21 March 2019
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a joint report with the Institute for Employment Research, which found that there are insufficient educational psychologists, both qualified and in training, to meet demand.
The report included a survey of councils, with two-thirds suggesting that they had faced difficulties in recruiting to fill new posts for educational psychologists.
Following the publication of the report, the government has confirmed plans to support more than 600 trainee educational psychologists with free tuition and grants worth a total of £31.6 million.
Sarb Bajwa, BPS chief executive, says:
“We are pleased that the DfE has responded to some of the issues raised in this report with a clear commitment to fund the training of more educational psychologists.
However, money is only one issue and the retention of existing educational psychologists in local authorities also needs to be given consideration."
Dr Gavin Morgan, Chair of our Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP), says:
“We welcome the headlines of the report, particularly the view that training more educational psychologists is the most effective way of tackling the recruitment issue being experienced by many local authorities. We also agree that there is little or no support for the creation of new training providers.
One particularly important finding to highlight is that the majority of educational psychologists (85 per cent) are still employed by local authorities, but that this number is increasingly being affected by the numbers moving to private practice.”
Dr Dan O’Hare, DECP Committee member, adds:
“A reduction in the number of educational psychologists working for local authorities has real implications for children, young people, families and teachers.
We need to ensure that all of our young people, particularly the most vulnerable, have access to high quality educational psychology services, regardless of how much money their school has to spend.”